September 27, 2008

HPWREN weather sensor updated on Lyons Peak

HPWREN has been supporting a weather sensor at the backbone site on Lyons Peak for the last few years. Data generated by the sensor is in significant use, and is also forwarded to NOAA/NWS, as well as utilized to trigger pager alarms with fire officials during Santa Ana conditions. With the cup/vane anemometer data not having worked for many months, it was initially replaced. That not fixing the problem, it was decided to add a Vaisala WXT520 sensor, for reasons of it being a near-comprehensive and compact solid state device with direct digital output. The sensor output serial line is connected to a co-located IQeye3 camera, and powered via the camera's Power-over-Ethernet injector.

The photo on the left shows both the old and the new sensors, as well as the west-pointing camera that connects the WXT520. Both cables connecting the camera to the WXT520 and to the Ethernet PoE injector can be seen in the above photo.

Alongside the weather sensor work, the team also re-established the support antenna for a Potrero ICP link, which had been moved for the Horse Fire, and subsequently needed some maintenance. Additionally a hard disk in a network performance measurement machine was updated, and the four IQeye3 cameras, which provide a 360 degree surround view from Lyons Peak for still photos and time-lapse animations, were cleaned and re-focused. Those cameras allowed for multi-day time-lapse animations of the progression of the Harris Fire in 2007.

Jim Hale (top) and Pablo Bryant (left) were doing most of the work on the tower for this installation.

This photo shows both weather station sets, plus the Potrero link antenna. Visible parts of the old weather station include a Campbell CS500 Air Temp/RH% Sensor, a Met One 034 Wind Sensor, a Campbell CS105 Barometric Pressure Sensor, a TB4 Siphoning Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge, a LI-COR LI-200X Silicon Pyranometer, a Campbell CS107 Fuel Temperature Sensor, a Campbell CS505 Fuel Moisture Sensor. They are individually wired to a Campbell 10X Datalogger in the same box that supports the camera power injectors.

The above images show closeups of the North, East, and South pointing cameras.

While the wind speed data from the old sensor is still not working, the co-location of the two sensors will allow for comparisons of other metrics. Real-time data from the new sensor is available at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/Sensors/LyonsPeak-WXT520, while the old data remains at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/Sensors/LyonsPeak.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)