Sunday, October 14, 2018

UAVSonde Data for NearSys Station, 14 October 2018

What a clear day! It's still a bit breezy and a little bit chilly, but the 14:25 MDT UAVSonde flight indicates very clear conditions. The visibility is in excess of 50 miles.

At the surface,
Temperature: 57.9 deg
Relative Humidity: 19.5%

At flight level 4,
Temperature: 51.9 deg
Relative Humidity: 19.0%

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Measuring Precipitable Water in the Atmosphere

I learned that Forest Mims authored an article in the October 2011 (pages 1311 - 1319) issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). The article is on using an infrared thermometer to measure the total column of water vapor overhead (also known as preciptable water or PW). Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, the more of it overhead, the warmer the sky temperature measured by the infrared thermometer.

So I decided last spring to try this out for myself with my Seek Reveal thermal imager and see what I get. If successful, then I could start recording the amount of water vapor overhead as part of my amatuer science activities. I could also experiment with measuring PW as changes in weather approached.

The only problem I encountered was finding a website were I could get the current PW value. A little searching turned up the Unisys weather website (http://weather.unisys.com/current-weather?source=4&plot=97&inv=0&t=cur). If I select the Precipitable Water channel, I was given a map of PW values across the US like the one below.



Now, there's some interpretation to get the PW value for a location. So I expected some variation in the data just due to reading a chart. There's a second source of variation that I learned about more recently. That's that the data is only updated every 12 hours at around 7:45 AM and PM my time. So any measurements taken away from those times will not be accurate.

I started collecting my data last April and changed my procedures to only record data at around 8:00 more recently. The data was loaded into a spreadsheet and graphed per the instructions in Mr. Mims' article. A best fit line that was exponential was added as a trendline and it's equation displayed on the chart. Below is what my raw data looks like.

The R-squared value or coefficient of regression of 58.7% was not as high as I hoped and it comes from the data points that are far away from the line of best fit. Since I know some of the variation comes from taking data at bad times, I decided to remove the outliers to see what I get. The edited data is displayed below.



The updated regression coefficient of 81.2% is much more acceptable. And the regression equation of PW = 1.1985*e^temp is not much different from the raw data equation.

This equation for inches of PW works for my Seek Reveal if the temperature is in units of degrees Fahrenheit. Other imagers will need to generate their own equation.

I plan to collect data for a year before I start using my imager to collect PW data. Then I plan to see how PW changes as rainy weather approaches.

Thanks Mr. Mims for letting know about your article.

24-hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 13 Ocotober 2018

We had condensation yesterday and then it became very windy. So the Amprobe TR-200A got damp and it's sunshield was blown over. That will explain the two odd features of yesterday's data.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

24-hour UV-B Photometer Data for NearSys Station, 13 October 2013

The AdaFruit UV-B sensor and PICAXE-08M collected data every five minutes beginning at midnight, 13 October 2018. Below is a graph of the data. It was a cloudless day and the data shows. I don't know why the data looks the way it does between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, I was running errands at the time. However, we had very strong winds this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

24-hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 8 October 2018

The Amprobe TR-200A datalogger was left outside in the backyard beneath it's sunshield for 24 hours. Below is the data it collected.

A crew working on our landscaping moved the datalogger and that account for the two large spikes seen in the chart.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

24-hour UV-B Flux for NearSys Station, 6 October 2018

The AdaFruit UV-B sensor collected the UV-B intensity every five minutes until nightfall (when the flux reaches zero). Below is the resulting chart. It's apparent that it was cloudy all morning.

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 6 October 2018

The UAVSonde was sent aloft at 11:30 AM MDT and it collected the following data.

At the surface,
Temperature: 63.0 deg
Relative Humidity: 55.1%

At Flight Level 4,
Temperature: 51.9 deg
Relative Humidity: 73.3%

The large temperature difference makes me wonder if the datalogger did not have enough time to cool down before launch.

Since mountains west could be seen and very little of the Owyhee Mountain Range could be seen, the visibility was between 15 and 20 miles.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

24-hour UV Flux for NearSys Station, 2 October 2018

I finally found time to fix a coding error in my UV-B flux sensor. So I plan to begin posting weekly reports again. Next, I'll find some time to troubleshoot the LED Photometer.

Data is collected for 24 hours beginning at midnight. Below is the data collected yesterday.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Monthly Weather Report for NearSys Station, 30 September 2018

Below are the graphs I created from weather station reports. The station is located on the front porch, away from direct exposure to the sun.

As you can see, the air and ground temperatures continue to fall. There was only 0.01 inches of rain, so I did not post the precip chart.





24-hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 29 September 2018

The Amprobe TR-200A datalogger recorded the air temperature and relative humidity for 24 hours. It was located in the backyard beneath its sunshield. Below are the results.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 29 September 2018

The UAVSonde was launched at 4:15 PM MDT. It's data indicated the following about air temperature and relative humidity.

At SFC,
Air Temperature: 76.6 deg
Relative Humidity: 34.2%

At FL4,
Air Temperature: 78.9 deg
Relative Humidity: 25.6%

The Boise Mountains could not be seen, But The Owyhees could. Therefore the visibility was in excess of 30 miles but less than 50 miles.

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

24 Hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 22 September 2018

Below is the temperature and relative humidity for NearSys Station for Saturday. It appears more humid air moved in after midnight and I suspect a cloud passed over the sun at around 5:00 PM MDT.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 22 September 2018

The UAVSonde was launched at 3:15 PM MDT. The data collected indicates the following.

At the Surface:
Temperature: 80.3 deg
Relative Humidity: 16.8%

At FL4
Temperature: 76.9 deg
Relative Humidity: 17.5%

The images collected indicate the visibility is around 40 miles.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

October Stargazing Almanac

Here's the link to the October 2018 issue of the Stargazing Almanac.

October 2018 Stargazing Almanac

Monday, September 17, 2018

24 Hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 16 September 2018

The Amprobe temperature and relative humidity sensor was left outside in the backyard for 24 hours. It was place underneath its sunshield during the data run and recorded the following data.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 15 September 2018

The UAVSonde was launched at 9:00 AM MST. According to the flight, thevisibility was over 50 miles, although the sky was 100% overcast.

At the surface:
Temperature: 57.3 deg
Relative Humidity: 65.4%

At FL 4:
Temperature: 60.1 deg
Relative Humidity: 29.3%

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 9 September 2018

The UAVSonde was launched at 10:15 AM MDT and carried an Amprobe TR-200A datalogger and Apeman A-60 sports camera.

On the surface at lift off, the air temperature was 69.2 degrees and the relative humidity 32.7%

After one minute at 400 feet AGL, the air temperature was 70.1 degrees and the relative humidity 32.2%

Based on the images recorded, the visibility was 50 miles.
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Friday, September 7, 2018

24-hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 6 September 2018

The Amprobe TR-200A was left outside beneath a sunshield for 24 hours. The air temperature in Boise was about 10 degrees cooler than what the Amprobe measured. So, the sunshield may not be working as well as I hoped. That or it really was 105 degrees in the backyard yesterday.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Weather for NearSys Station, August 20198

There was no precipitation during August. So I didn't post a chart for it.
The ground temperature is in a cooling trend this month.

I don't know if this is to be expected, but the average air pressure has trended upward slightly upward this month. 

No real overall trend this month, the relative humidity fluctuates as it always does.  

Definitely on a cooling trend.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

24-hour Temperature and Relative Humidity for NearSys Station, 25 August 2018

The Amprobe TR-200 Temperature/RH Datalogger collected data inside its sunshield for 24 hours. Below is the data it collected. It appears the sunshield is letting the datalogger get hotter than the air temperature. So I may try to add an electric fan next.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

UAVSonde for NearSys Station, 25 August 2018

The UAVSonde was launched at 4:30 PM MDT.

At the surface, the temperature was 83.4 degrees F and the relative humidity 20.7%. At flight level 4, the temperature was 82.4 degrees F and the relative humidity 18.3% .

The visibility was determined to be just at 30 miles.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Diameter of a Lunar Crater

Using one of the moon images I recorded last night, I determined the diameter of one of its largest craters, Alphonsus.


Alphonsus is the circled crater of the moon. According to Wikipeda, this crater has a diameter of 73 miles.

The moon in my image has a height of 2366.5 pixels. The moon's polar diameter is 2,117.9 miles, or .895 miles per pixel for my image. I found the diameters by using Pythagorean Theorem on the X-axis and Y-axis location of the pixels.

Alphonus has a diameter of 88.2 pixels. At a scale of .895 miles per pixel, Alphonsus has a diameter of 79 miles in this image.

My calculation is 6 miles too large, or an error of 8%. One source of error is trying to locate the edge of the craters bottom when it is heavily shadowed. Also, a second error is due to the edges of the moon are a little fuzzy. They're fuzzy because the telescope has a wide angle view and the eyepiece doesn't properly focusing on the extreme edges.

Nonetheless, this is a more accurate diameter than if I had just guessed.