April 12, 2005
A Short Case Study of HPWREN-Connected Anemometers in Hostile Weather Conditions
Exceeding 100 miles per hour, the wind gusts atop Mount Laguna peaks in San Diego county are not to be taken lightly. In addition to the high winds, very significant ice buildup makes sensors very heavy, and even more susceptible to wind load. "I have used RM Young and Met One mechanical wind sensors in the Arctic and never have seen the type of destruction that we are witnessing on Mount Laguna," explains Pablo Bryant of the San Diego State University Field Station Programs, and principal architect behind the HPWREN-connected weather sensors on Mount Laguna. "The erratic wind patterns accompanied by high gusts and ice create harsh environmental conditions that one would not normally associate with sunny and mild San Diego."
The following series of photos show anemometers which did not
make it through the wind and ice conditions on Mount Laguna.
The hostility of the wind was best seen with the 10Hz data of the 3D sonic anemometer. While most days on Mount Laguna are rather pleasant, the wind can be extremely harsh, and, while hot in summer, in winter it can be combined with very low temperatures.
A new all-metal and heated anemometer was recently installed to
create a more survivable scenario.
The new instrument simultaneously delivers data via both analog
and digital channels. The analog outputs connect to the data logger,
just like previous instruments, while the 1Hz digital output connects
to a serial-to-Ethernet converter, which allows for a direct
connection to the Internet. A server connects to the converter and
receives the digital data, while then sending it out again via
multicast to HPWREN, so many users can pick up the data without an extra
load on the network.
While the HPWREN team has high hopes for the weather-survival
of the new anemometer, it was just recently installed, and it remains
to be seen how this instrument will perform in the long term. Bryant
adds "I am optimistic that this newly installed all-metal, solid
state, heated wind sensor will do well up there."
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