The main goal of LIRA project is to investigate cloud transformations as consequence of seeding, and determine best operational procedures to enhance efficiency and reduce side effects in case of hail suppression and rainfall generation, using a smart combination of remote sensing techniques (passive and active): lidar, radar, microwave radiometry, satellite imagery. In order to achieve this aim, the following objectives must be fulfilled:

  • To design an experimental model using radar, lidar and microwave radiometry to monitor ice formation inside clouds, before, during and after cloud seeding – to add scientific proves and to provide a suitable tool for process monitoring
  • To identify application-driven suitable parameters for efficient cloud seeding, based on modeled and experimental data – to advise operational procedures based on scientific findings


LIRA project aim to use the synergy between radar, lidar and microwave radiometer to enhance clouds seeding efficiency and suppress hail. The depolarization capability of the lidar, will permit, by combination with radar, to monitor remotely the changes in the ice / liquid water content of the cloud. By visualizing the dispersion of the seeding agent inside the volume before activation, we can correlate seeding parameters (target location, rocket speed, time of spreading the agent, etc.) with the efficiency in suppressing hail. The possibility of forecasting hail based on EUMETCAST data will also be analyzed. Several algorithms will be improved by direct validation with measurements (retrieval of wind speed from radar – validation with sodar, cloud height from EUMETCAST – validation from lidar, cloud particle depolarization from lidar – cross-validation with radar). Moreover, we will put our knowledge at the service of the society, by transferring experimental techniques to operational procedures. The obtained experimental data are meant to complement and refine hailstorm forecast models as well as to assess the efficiency of hail suppression intervention. Such a complex deployment of techniques and instruments has never been used before (to our knowledge) to study hail formation and suppression, with a view to optimize the intervention procedures and therefore to increase the degree of protection of agricultural lands.


  M1 Design and configuration Iul.- Dec. 2014
  M2 Development and testing Ian.- Mai 2015
  M3 Experiments Iun.- Dec. 2015
  M4 Data Analysis Ian. – Dec. 2016

LIRA Gantt diagrame, click for a larger version: