Development of a low-cost meteorological station to measure Essential Climate Variables
Document typeConference lecture
PublisherUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Rights accessOpen Access
This work presents preliminary research on a low-cost meteorological station for measuring in situ Essential Climate Variables (ECV): solar irradiance, surface water vapour, surface air temperature, land surface wind speed/direction, and precipitation. Important benefits can be obtained from these data: 1) optimization of irrigation systems and water input into the crops, leading to a breakthrough in agriculture in countries lacking meteorological infrastructure; 2) improvement of climate change monitoring. Availability of time series of satellite, airborne and in situ observation data, covering at least several decades, is necessary to validate climate models, which provide essential information for supporting decision-making processes relating to climate change. The proposed station could bridge some of the existing gaps in acquisition of ECV data, and would allow for calibration and validation of satellite data and derived products. While in situ measurements are essential, Earth Observation satellites are the only realistic means to obtain the necessary global coverage. With well-calibrated space-based measurements thanks to data provided by the proposed station, space-based sensors would become a key tool for climate monitoring. 3) Availability of land surface wind speed/direction data measured during extended periods of time is essential for installation/optimization of wind turbines and for construction of an aerodrome runway in a given location. Thus, the proposed station could facilitate the diffusion of wind energy. The users of the proposed station would be governments, public administrations and institutions, public and private companies, NGOs, farmers, and transnational or intergovernmental organizations. Summarizing, widespread implementation of the proposed station in areas lacking meteorological infrastructure would bring more well-being to large groups of people, and foster a more sustainable development. The objective of this work is to present a pre-feasibility analysis of the proposed station, and to report a preliminary research on the best shelter design using computational fluid dynamics software. The criterion is the accuracy with which the surface air temperature is reproduced inside the shelter in extreme temperature and solar radiation conditions, with almost no wind and with moderately strong wind. A design based on recommendations by the World Meteorological Organization and a smaller design with identical geometry were analysed. Since the performance of the latter was better, two alternative designs of similar size were studied, all in three different materials (PVC, rubber and wood), with and without white paint coating. Shelters made of PVC or rubber instead of wood, and/or in alternative designs, are probably more interesting if other criteria are taken into account.
CitationRojas, J.; D. Gilete, S.; Mazon, J. Development of a low-cost meteorological station to measure Essential Climate Variables. A: Global Space Applications Conference. "Proceedings of Global Space Applications Conference 2014". Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2014.