84th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2004: 3:45 PM
Smart Sensor Arrays for Environmental and Atmospheric Research
Room 618
Dave Carlson, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and L. Laffea, S. Semmer, J. Militzer, and G. Maclean
Researchers seeking to explore and understand land surface interactions with the atmosphere confront an enormous temporal and spatial heterogeneity in physical and biological land surface properties and in atmospheric processes. Intense measurement episodes during dedicated field projects and recent efforts at establishing and sustaining longer term observational capabilities, as in the AmeriFlux network for CO2 measurements, invariably reveal a need for more measurements at more points. Observational records and observing system simulations also emphasize the importance of connecting and scaling point measurements to model grid scales and to satellite remote sensing scales. As microscale technologies have evolved to produce inexpensive transducers software teams have started to explore the use of these microsensors in sensor arrays. To this end, our team (NCAR's Atmospheric Technology Division, UCLA's Center for Embedded Network Sensing and Glacier National Park) has an effort underway to design, evaluate and explore the capabilities of prototype multi-scale meteorological and environmental sensor arrays. We envisioned an affordable, flexible, self configuring array, deployable(and reconfigurable) with ease in a variety of temperate, tropical and polar environments. We propose a three level design and infrastructure architecture, with fine scale arrays(deployed on meter to 10ís of meter scales) nested within mesoscale arrays(deployed on 100 meter to 10 kilometer scales) connected by network nodes, with communications, power, and signal processing(intelligence) capabilities appropriate to each level, all connected by an integrated and scalable software framework. Capabilities within these arrays will enable system-level interaction with internal and external information, including event detection within the arrays and bi-directional array interaction with large-scale external information sources such as radars or satellites. A modular design approach will easily accommodate and take advantage of future advances in sensor and telecommunication technologies.

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