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Data assimilation for convective-cell tracking on meteorological image sequences

Claire Thomas 1, 2 Thomas Corpetti 3 Etienne Mémin 2 
1 LETG - Rennes - Littoral, Environnement, Télédétection, Géomatique
LETG - Littoral, Environnement, Télédétection, Géomatique UMR 6554
2 FLUMINANCE - Fluid Flow Analysis, Description and Control from Image Sequences
IRSTEA - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : This paper focuses on the tracking and analysis of convective cloud systems from Meteosat Second Generation images. The highly deformable nature of convective clouds, the complexity of the physical processes involved, and also the partially hidden measurements available from image data make difficult the direct use of conventional image-analysis techniques for tasks of detection, tracking, and characterization. In this paper, we face these issues using variational-data-assimilation tools. Such techniques enable us to perform the estimation of an unknown state function according to a given dynamical model and to noisy and incomplete measurements. The system state we are setting in this study for the cloud representation is composed of two nested curves corresponding to the exterior frontiers of the clouds and to the interior coldest parts (core) of the convective clouds. Since no reliable simple dynamical model exists for such phenomena at the image grid scale, the dynamics on which we are relying has been directly defined fromimage-based motion measurements and takes into account an uncertainty modeling of the curve dynamics along time. In addition to this assimilation technique, we show in the Appendix how each cell of the recovered cloud system can be labeled and associated to characteristic parameters (birth or death time, mean temperature, velocity, growth, etc.) of great interest for meteorologists.
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Claire Thomas, Thomas Corpetti, Etienne Mémin. Data assimilation for convective-cell tracking on meteorological image sequences. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2010, 48 (8), pp.3162-3177. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2010.2045504⟩. ⟨inria-00619101⟩



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