This umbrella ‘listens’ to rain — for science

A new sensor that counts raindrops may someday help scientists study weather and water

By Cameron Walker, 08:42 AM June 3, 2014

Someday, umbrellas may do more than just keep people dry. A researcher in the Netherlands has designed a simple sensor that “listens” to rain. And that sensor can turn a bumbershoot into a rain-measuring whiz.

Tools like this can let anyone measure the weather. That can help scientists make sure that satellites and radar systems that track storms are doing a good job.

“Rain radar is a beautiful way of seeing where rainfall is up in the air. But you never know where it hits the ground,” says Rol...

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