Visiting scientist Activity - Open Call-2

Applications are invited for a Visiting scientist Activity to be funded by the H-SAF Consortium.

Research Fields:  Precipitation, Microwave, radar, validation, Scientific computing and data processing

General contacts:

HSAF Science Coordinator

Maj. Davide MELFI

Italian Air Force Meteorological Service
Centro Operativo per la Meteorologia


Beneficiaries: Department of Civil Protection (DPC) - Rome

Benefits and salary

The financial contribution to a VSA can only consist of, cost reimbursement on a per diem basis (VS), contribution to salary costs (AS) and travel cost reimbursement. Other costs e.g. hardware, equipment, third party services, cannot be charged to the VS programme.

The total cost of the activity will depend by the work plan proposed by the attender (see below) and it can’t exceed 8050 Euros.

Eligibility criteria

Only experts/scientists from entities (NMSs or other public Institutions e.g. Universities or Research Centres) not affiliated with the concerned SAF cooperating entities’ organization or their controlled sub-entities can be selected as VS.

We are seeking a candidate with Master Degree in Meteorology, Remote Sensing, or related fields, with experience in satellite precipitation product development and/or applications, analysis of ground-based dual-polarization radar data, use of ground-based instruments for quality assessment of precipitation products.

The best candidate will also be proficient in scientific programming languages (e.g., Fortran, C, MATLAB, IDL), graphical software packages, and UNIX/Linux scripting language.

Good-quality written and oral communication skills in the English language are required.

Evidence of published research in these areas will be a plus.

Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment.

Recruitment procedure

Description of the motivation and expected objective of the proposal are described below

Applications must include:

  • Defining of “tasks and methods “ in the proposal
  • CV
  • copy of valid identity documents

Applications has to be completed by 28 February 2017, although the search will continue until the positions is filled.

Project Abstract: 

The validation of precipitation products is particularly challenging, given the highly variable nature of the precipitation fields over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales (Zawadzki, 1975; Kursinski and Mullen, 2008). This makes it difficult to set up a reliable, spatially and temporally continuous reference field, suitable to be matched to the satellite estimates: ground weather radar (Chandrasekar et al., 2008; Capacci and Porcù, 2009; Rinollo et al., 2013) and rain gauge networks (Dinku et al., 2007; Sohn et al., 2010) are mainly used to provide rainfall reference fields for validation studies. A number of studies, however, point out that care should be taken in comparing satellite and ground-based precipitation estimates for validation purposes.

A representativeness error is introduced when comparing areal instantaneous data (from satellites) with punctual cumulated values (from rain gauges) (Zawadzki, 1975; Kitchen and Blackall, 1992; Habib et al., 2009), pointing out that this error is not negligible (Porcù et al., 2014). Intrinsic discrepancies between satellite and ground radar estimates are also to be expected due to the different points of view of the two sensors (Habib and Krajeski, 2002; Chandrasekar et al., 2008; Rinollo at al., 2013).


The H-SAF Precipitation Products Validation Group (PPVG) has established a common validation protocol to deal with the mentioned issues (Puca et al., 2014).

It can be summarized through the following few steps:


  1. Ground data error analysis.
  2. Upscaling of radar data versus satellite native grid.
  3. Temporal comparison of precipitation products (satellite and ground).
  4. Statistical score (continuous and multi-categorical)evaluation.



The steps from b) to d) are accomplished through the application of a common validation code (CVC) that was developed and optimized over the years by the PPVG. The activity related to point a) is mainly carried out by the ground-data provider, leaving to a posteriori product analysis further data filtering based, whenever possible, to the application of strict quality-based constraints.



The VS activity has to be intended as the integral part of the Federated Activity proposal entitled “Assessment of ground-reference data in Brazil and validation of the H-SAF precipitation products in the perspective of CDOP-3” that is aimed at setting up the framework for the validation of the H-SAF precipitation products on Full Disk, being a crucial task of CDOP-3.

In this contest, the main objective of the VS activity is to apply the CVC to the dataset collected during the CHUVA field campaigns and to verify the performance of the H-SAF precipitation products over Brazil using this dataset, and for specific case studies. Detailed information on the mentioned campaign is available on The candidate will report on the outcomes of the statistical analysis and will provide feedback on the products accuracy to the Precipitation Cluster.