Section: Scientific Foundations
Data assimilation and inverse modeling
This activity is currently one of the major concerns of environmental sciences. It matches up the setting and the use of data assimilation methods, for instance variational methods (4D-var). An emerging issue lies in the propagation of uncertainties in models, notably through ensemble forecasting methods.
Although modeling is not part of the scientific objectives of Clime, we have complete access to models developed by CEREA (Joint Laboratory of École des Ponts ParisTech/EDF R&D): the models from Polyphemus (pollution forecasting from local to regional scales) and Code-Saturne (urban scale). In regard to other modeling domains, Clime accesses models through co-operation initiatives either directly (for instance the shallow water model developed at MHI, Ukrain, has been provided to the team), or indirectly (for instance, issues on image assimilation for meteorology are studied in collaboration with operational centres).
The research activities tackle scientific issues such as:
Within a family of models (differing by their physical formulations and numerical approximations) which is the optimal model for a given set of observations?
How to make a forecast (and a better forecast!) by using several models corresponding to different physical formulations? It also raises the question: how should data be assimilated in this context?
Which observational network should be set up to perform a better forecast, while taking into account additional criteria such as observation cost? What are the optimal location, type and mode of deployment of sensors? How should the trajectories of mobile sensors be operated, while the studied phenomenon is evolving in time? This issue is usually referred to “network design”.
How to assess the quality of the prediction? How do data quality, missing data, data obtained from sub-optimal locations, affect the forecast? How to better include information on uncertainties (of data, of models) within the data assimilation system?