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Climate CT- Cloud Tomography by Satellites for Better Climate Prediction

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CloudCT project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CloudCT project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CloudCT" about.

base    image    met    computational    capture    autonomy    energy    coordinated    critical    sensitivity    model    tomography    dimensional    realistic    simultaneously    accurately    generation    structure    3d    spaceborne    prediction    physical    data    accuracy    constellations    stage    cooperative    profiles    meet    climate    sensing    nature    vision    satellites    climatic    single    acquired    droplets    setting    indicators    describe    technologies    database    models    lack    size    directions    limitations    stratiform    retrievals    scattering    pointing    extinction    atmospheric    gap    water    heterogeneous    rain    sensors    fluxes    board    mathematical    transfer    plane    cloud    unresolved    incompatible    innovative    advancements    variance    efficient    radiative    observational    satellite    unprecedented    performance    unconventional    validate    retrieval    global    resolution    volume    macro    flexible    50m    orbit    clouds    acute    seek    yield    microphysical    play    fresh    images    pico    multidisciplinary    micro    remote    synergic    physics    ten    gaps    actuators    mass    demands    computer    observations    environmental    cooperating    requirement    optical    simulations    engineering    space    relying    networked    resolving    parallel    realizing    sufficient    volumetric    multiple    parametrize    regulating    warm    representation    hardware    distributed    gained    convective    software   

Project "CloudCT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: HAIFA
postcode: 32000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 13˙878˙593 €
 EC max contribution 13˙878˙593 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-SyG
 Funding Scheme ERC-SyG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-08-01   to  2025-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
2    Zentrum fuer Telematik e.V. DE (WUERZBURG) participant 9˙105˙636.00
3    WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE IL (REHOVOT) participant 2˙233˙394.00


 Project objective

Clouds play a lead climatic role, controlling energy fluxes and regulating fresh water distribution. There is an acute need for cloud-resolving and global-climate models that accurately describe and parametrize the physics of warm convective and stratiform clouds, and the clouds’ sensitivity to environmental changes. Currently this requirement is not being met due to a gap in observational capabilities. Namely, there is a lack of sufficient sensing tailored to capture the 3D macro and microphysical properties of warm clouds, which are often spatially unresolved. Moreover, current retrievals use a plane-parallel radiative model, which is incompatible with the 3D heterogeneous nature of clouds. These gaps lead to uncertainties in climate models and prediction.

We propose an innovative sensing approach: cloud scattering-tomography, relying on an unprecedented large formation of ten cooperating, high performance pico-satellites. They will simultaneously image cloud fields from multiple directions, at 50m resolution. Based on this data, the novel tomography approach will seek the 3D volumetric structure of cloud fields, base-to-top profiles of droplets' size and their variance, volumetric distribution of optical extinction and rain indicators. The required pointing accuracy, data size and coordinated control of a complex 10 pico-satellite formation demands advanced space engineering, beyond existing technologies of traditional single satellites and constellations of satellites. Realizing a large formation requires innovative, distributed, networked, cooperative control, including advanced sensors and actuators for pico-satellites, as well as in-orbit autonomy. On-board hardware and flexible software will be adapted to meet computational needs within the physical limitations of pico-satellites (energy, mass, volume).

Using the acquired spaceborne images for tomography-based 3D atmospheric retrievals requires advancements in computer vision and efficient analysis based on three-dimensional radiative transfer. New information gained will improve and validate our cloud resolving models, leading to more realistic simulations of cloud fields. This will enable better understanding of how environmental changes affect warm clouds and help improve their representation in climate models.

This multidisciplinary, synergic approach will establish and test critical and currently unconventional aspects of remote sensing and mathematical retrieval based on a pico-satellite formation. It will yield a database of 3D macro and micro structure of warm cloud fields, while setting the stage for next-generation distributed spaceborne global observations.

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The information about "CLOUDCT" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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