84th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2004: 4:45 PM
Current configuration of US Climate Reference Network stations
Room 618
Tilden P. Meyers, NOAA/ATDD, Oak Ridge, TN; and M. E. Hall, C. B. Baker, R. P. Hosker Jr., J. A. Jensen, M. R. Helfert, and M. T. Young
Poster PDF (1.2 MB)
NOAA is beginning deployment of its national US Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The goal of this network is to provide the best possible data for national climate trend indicators over the next 50 to 100 years. Key variables for this purpose are air temperature, precipitation, and their extremes. Under current funding, a network of slightly more than 100 stations is planned. This paper describes the current equipment configuration of the USCRN stations. The architecture is modular, so that additional sensors or newer sensor replacements can be added easily. Commercial components are used throughout, sometimes with minor modifications to better meet the USCRN needs of accuracy, precision, and reliability. The current sensor suite includes air temperature (3 independent fan -aspirated PRTs); precipitation (a heated weighing-type gauge with 3 separate sensors, a backup tipping bucket gauge, and a double-fence wind shield); wind speed; incoming solar radiation; and IR ground surface temperature. All sensors are calibrated before installation using NIST-traceable standards. Data are transmitted hourly from each station to GOES satellites, and sent to NCDC for data quality checking and archival. Automated processes alert the maintenance team to ailing sensors or systems. If the data transmission process fails for some reason, the data can be retrieved during a site visit up to 5 months later using a notebook computer or PDA. Complete documentation on each system down to the individual sensor level is maintained and available on a web site, to help build user confidence in the data. About 50 stations will be operational by January 2004, and their distribution will be shown. Sample data will also be demonstrated.

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