P1.6 CentNet—A deployable 100-station network for surface exchange research

Monday, 2 August 2010
Castle Peak Ballroom (Keystone Resort)
Steven P. Oncley, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. Semmer, T. W. Horst, J. Militzer, G. Maclean, K. Knudson, C. Golubieski, and L. L. Dong

Observational research in the biogeosciences, hydrology, urban meteorology, basic meteorology, and turbulence would greatly benefit from a high-density network network of surface measurements. NCAR/EOL is developing CentNet, that would have at least 100 surface flux stations deployable for periods of months to years. Each station would measure standard meteorological variables, all components of the surface energy balance (including turbulence fluxes and radiation), atmospheric composition, and other quantities to characterize the surface. Tower infrastructure will be designed to be lightweight, easily deployed, and with a minimal set-up footprint. RF communications are being utilized as much as possible to reduce cabling. The data system saves every sample on site to retain flexibility in data analysis.

Our current development is focused on the use of sensor networks to increase spatial sampling at each station. When necessary, microprocessors are added to commercial sensors to provide any necessary control signals and to apply sensor calibrations. Two-way communication to each sensor is available to synchronize data streams and query sensor status. With this approach, CentNet is adaptable to a wide variety of research problems while keeping operations manageable.

We are now actively seeking input from potential users to guide development priorities.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner