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Saudi Sofema
is a joint venture with


SSNET provides in the Middle East the most advanced weather radar technology “HYDRIX”, based on the ZPHI algorithm, and offers a unique solution to meet hydrologists’ requirements. This is made possible through its partnership with NOVIMET a company at the forefront of technological innovation in the environmental industry.


ZPHI® is a software for rain rate retrieval from polarimetric weather radar data, able to compensate for three error sources:
• The attenuation of the radar wave through the precipitation
• The natural variability of the drop size distribution (DSD)
·The radar calibration error

ZPHI® is designed to process in real time the data from an operational polarization diversity weather radar. Its performance was validated by publications in international scientific journals.

The main ZPHI® characteristics are the following:
• Real time implementation, ray by ray analysis.
• Excellent accuracy of the rain rate estimate, obtained
  with the scanning velocities (5 ą 15°/s) required in operational.
• Production in parallel of a DSD parameter.
• Robustness with any type of rain, and at any radar frequency (S, C, ou X).
• Associated with a classification of the precipitation
  distinguishing convective rain, stratiform rain, melting
  precipitation, solid precipitation.



HYDRIX consists of the combination of a polarisation diversity weather radar and of an exclusive software for rain rate retrieval, software ZPHI. It departs from classical weather radars by: ·Its compact character. Since it operates at X band (9,3 GHz), its antenna size and pedestal dimension are smaller those of C band (5,6 GHz) or S band (3 GHz) radar systems usually used in operational networks. ·Its improved accuracy. It is much more accurate since it exploits the polarimetric measurements with help of a new algorithm for rain rate retrieval: algorithm ZPHI®. This algorithm constitutes a technological breakthrough in the weather radar technology.

HYDRIX allows to obtain the rain rate with a much better accuracy than with the classical radar networks. The estimate is so good that the rain gauges are no more required as adjuvant of the radar data to define a rain rate estimate reliable enough to be plugged in hydrological models.

Its main characteristics are the following :
• Frequency: 9.3 GHz
• Polarisation diversity capability
• antenna diameter : 1,5 m
• Maximum range for accurate estimate of the
  precipitation rate: 60 km; for the detection of
  the precipitating and evaluation systems: 120 km.

A laboratory prototype of radar HYDRIX has been developed by CNRS. It is presently on operation for test at Boisgneville (France) on the experimental site of ARVALIS (Institut du végétal). A test of software ZPHI has been conducted separately with the X band polarimetric radar of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) in Japan. An industrial prototype of HYDRIX is in development.

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