PARSAX An Informal Look at Radar Technology and Applications within TU Delft


Visualizing Scientific Collaborations

Research analyst Olivier H. Beauchesne from Science-Metric, Inc. (the bibliometric consulting firm) computed and presented the map of scientific collaborations from 2005 to 2009. For this analysis the data from Scopus database have been used including the information about published books, trade and peer-reviewed journals .

Scientific collaboration around the globe
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It is interesting that this analysis has been inspired with the friendship map made by Facebook intern, Paul Butler.

From this data, I extracted and aggregated scientific collaboration between cities all over the world. For example, if a UCLA researcher published a paper with a colleague at the University of Tokyo, this would create an instance of collaboration between Los Angeles and Tokyo. The result of this process is a very long list of city pairs, like Los Angeles - Tokyo, and the number of instances of scientific collaboration between them. Following that, I used the database to convert the cities’ names to geographical coordinates.

Visualizing Friendships by Paul Butler
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Delft researchers of clouds in the EénVandaag program

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Recently the storms have made a lot of damage in the Netherlands. Masses of clouds caused extreme rainfall, especially in the Randstad and the east of the country. The risk of heavy precipitation events can only grow with global warming. Our colleagues Herman Russchenberg and Harm Jonker in the TV program EénVandaag (August 27, 2010) explains why it happens and how it works.


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PARSAX project in the STW Jaarverslagen 2009

The brief description of our progress in the PARSAX project included in recently published  STW Annual report 2009 (Jaarverslagen 2009 van Technologiestichting STW, page 51) - "PARSAX radar observes formation and life of water droplets in clouds" (Parsax-radar bekijkt ontstaan en levensduur van waterdruppels in wolken).

PARSAX project in STW Annual report 2009


…that does not mean it is fundamentally wrong

The Economist logoAn article "The clouds of unknowing" in The Economist summarizes the scientific and public discussions on global warming, where they try to explain to the readers that "There are lots of uncertainties in climate science. But that does not mean it is fundamentally wrong."

In any complex scientific picture of the world there will be gaps, misperceptions and mistakes. Whether your impression is dominated by the whole or the holes will depend on your attitude to the project at hand. You might say that some see a jigsaw where others see a house of cards. Jigsaw types have in mind an overall picture and are open to bits being taken out, moved around or abandoned should they not fit. Those who see houses of cards think that if any piece is removed, the whole lot falls down. When it comes to climate, academic scientists are jigsaw types, dissenters from their view house-of-cards-ists.

It was pleasure for me to find in this article arguments and explanations which we are already using during last decade trying to argue the importance of clouds in the climate system and the necessity to develop new remote sensing instruments and techniques for long term, continuous clouds observations and their parameters retrieval.

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We must be assertive… (We moeten assertiever zijn) Herman Russchenberg: “We moeten assertiever zijn.” (Foto: Sam Rentmeester/FMAX)An interview with prof. dr. ir. Herman Russchenberg, Chair Remote Sensing of the Environment and EWI's Director of Education, has been published in TUDelta #8. He discusses his vision of the research and education strategy in current situation of financial shortage.

"The government funding should go into research areas that focus on issues that will be important during next ten years. Long-term problems must have priority. This is especially important as we are training students, which will use their knowledge in the next ten years world". As an example of such long-term problems for TU Delft researchers he mentioned research areas on climate change, energy and mobility.

Full text of interview (in Dutch)

Foto: Sam Rentmeester/FMAX

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