7.7 Solid State Detector for Wind and Hydrometeor Measurements

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 5:00 PM
Room 350/351 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Alexander Jacobs, Understory Weather, Somerville, MA; and A. Kubicek, E. Hewitt, and N. Homeier

Ground-based instruments use a combination of sensors to detect the state of wind and precipitation on the ground. Typically these sensors measure some movement or rotation. This requires using expensive mechanical bearings that degrade with time. In addition, relying on movement event, for instance in the complete rotation of a spinning anemometer or tipping of a bucket, infers quantization errors.

Described herein is a device that uses deflecting beams to measure wind and precipitation, including hail. Local wind forces and falling hydrometeors impart steady and transient impulses of force to the spherical probe that creates an electrical response on its strain-based sensors. By sampling the strain gages at a several KHz and analyzing the characteristics of the these impulses and steady state forces, one can determine the wind state as well as the count and magnitude of hydrometeor events without quantization errors or the use of expensive bearings.

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