Towards next generation radar network

Weather forecasts that warn of hazardous conditions, e.g. snow storms or floods, help save lives and property. Accurate and timely forecasts also help optimize activities for several sectors of the economy. Weather radar systems are capable of monitoring rain, snow, hail, and wind over large geographical areas with high resolution in both time and space. Several weather radar systems can be networked to cover countries, regions, and even continents.


The BALTRAD project’s overall objective was to create a sustainable weather radar network for the Baltic Sea Region, operating in real-time, with high-quality data, and with demonstrated value to forecasters and decision-makers.  After 3 years of close cooperation the project has developed the world’s most advanced international weather radar network. The BALTRAD network is decentralized, preserving the partnerships transnational integrity. In practice this means that each partner exchanges data from its weather radars with other partners on equal terms. The so-called common BALTRAD “toolbox” is then used by each partner to process all data according to the needs of that individual partner. The software is produced under the open source principle and is available for everybody at The BALTRAD project was closed in January 2012. Fortunately the cooperation continues in the form of an extension-stage project.


The new partnership comprises now all weather services of the Baltic Sea Region except that in Russia. Weather services in Germany, Lithuania, and Norway, along with the University of Aalborg and Århus Water a/s in Denmark have joined the project. Enlarged thematic scope will include using the BALTRAD system with local-area weather radars supporting municipal activities such as water management. The main scope of BALTRAD+ is the transformation of the developments in BALTRAD to fully-operational regional infrastructure, in some cases replacing existing production systems as well as to further improve the products and the services for end-users.

The EU programme for the Baltic Sea Region (INTERREG IV B) is investing EUR 1,9 million in BALTRAD+, which will run for 2,5 years (2011-2014).