Item: Integration ofremote weather stations with advanced telemetry options and remote image acquisition
Title: Integration ofremote weather stations with advanced telemetry options and remote image acquisition
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: Benjamin Crane Johnson, Ken Irving, Larry Hinzman and Douglas L. Kane, Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Abstract: Currently the University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center (WERe) maintains over fifty remote meteorological stations in Alaska, ten located on the Seward Peninsula, fifteen on the North Slope of Alaska, two near Ivotuk and over twenty near Fairbanks, Alaska. Due to its latitude and climate, Alaska poses difficult problems that must be solved to successfully power and maintain a remote meteorological station network throughout the year. Many of these solutions can be adapted from arctic to alpine environments. Over the past year WERC has deployed a variety of telemetry systems and has developed new configurations for these systems. The Seward Peninsula Radio Telemetry project utilizes Freewave 900 Mhz spread spectrum radios powered by 12 Volt battery and solar power systems with the overall network encompassing over 5000 square miles. This network is connected to the Internet in Nome. A new radio feature was developed for this project that allows for expanded repeater capabilities, allowing the system to grow beyond pre-existing limits. The North Slope Radio Telemetry project also utilizes Freewave radios, but instead of a going with a traditional hard wired Ethernet connection the radio telemetry network is coupled to a satellite based Internet service provider allowing for deployment of an internet connected radio network virtually anywhere in North America. The development of these networks required new software to control the networks and download data from remote dataloggers. In addition to developing innovative telemetry systems, WERC has developed a low power camera system that can be deployed at a remote weather station and transmit images hourly to the Internet. Pilots, the National Weather Service and most importantly local residents are using these meteorological stations to improve weather forecasts in order to make better travel decisions in remote areas. The first winter of operation has allowed us to learn more about the system installation and work through some of the problems associated with operating remote radio sites in Alaska. The current conditions for our Seward Peninsula meteorological stations may be viewed through the Internet at http://www.uaf.edu/water/projects/atlas/metdata/atlasmetsitemap.htm A current image collected at a remote weather station can be viewed at http://www.uaf.edu/water/projects/cpcrw/metdata/crrel/current.html Near-real-time telemetry ofmeteorological data has improved our capability to monitor weather processes, better enabling us to respond to extreme events and allowing more efficient planning offield excursions. Snow scientists and avalanche practitioners could also utilize these telemetry solutions to acquire data in a more timely fashion.
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Keywords: telemetry, climate, meteorological hazards and remote sensing
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