JERUSALEM, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A system of ten Israeli-German mini-satellites will be launched in the coming years to orbit earth and study the clouds to improve weather forecast, Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) said on Monday.
The weight of each of the satellites is only three kilograms and their size are like a shoebox.
The new system will provide data on the internal composition and external structure of the clouds, using technology as in medical CT which maps the interior of the body in a three-dimensional manner.
Clouds play a major role in the energy balance and water circulation in nature while small errors in assessing their properties can lead to significant errors in climate prediction.
By studying small cloud fields that are not well measured by current satellite technologies, the project is expected to reduce the significant uncertainties in atmospheric modeling and predicting climate change.
The project, named "CloudCT," won a 14-million-euro grant (15.9 million U.S. dollars) from the European Research Council within its synergy program.
The grant is the highest amount that the council is entitled to allocate in the program, and this is the first year that Israeli scientists receive such grant.
The project includes, in addition to the Technion, Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and Germany's University of Wurzburg.