Weather station

The weather station is a wireless Davis Vantage Pro2 located at approximately 6660 feet above sea level. The station contains an anemometer to measure wind speed and direction, a hygrometer to measure humidity, a barometer to determine atmospheric pressure, a shielded, unaspirated thermometer and a balance-type raingauge. Solar Cells power the station. The entire system is located on a mast secured by a weighted tripod. The anemometer is 10 feet above ground level. The station is located at the crest of a steep slope of wooded terrain. Because the station lies below a ridge, we do not experience the extremely high winds common in the foothills. At unprotected ridges wind speeds of 90 mph are not uncommon.

Data is acquired from the weather station via a wireless connection to Davis terminals and serial & usb interfaces to both a Raspberry Pi computer and a Windows7 Pro Desktop computer and a Windows 2012R2 based server. A Raspberry Pi computer equipped with a Model 2 camera is used to take 8 Megapixel photographs at intervals of 30 seconds during the day and 1 minute at night. I have written a custom program in Python to manage the camera so the exposure levels are correct for the time of day. Other custom software I've written assemble the still photos to construct time lapse movies. Because the camera is located near the roof line and is pointed in an Easterly direction, there are unobstructed views of the Eastern plains, and every day we capture the Sunrise (the sunsets aren't bad either). Denver International Airport lies at the horizon near the center of the frame, so the traces of airplanes coming and going are common in the time lapse photos. Moonrisings when the field of view includes broken clouds are especially beautiful IMHO

Being sparsely populated and at a high elevation allows us to operate a radio frequency lightning detector which is part of the Blitzortung network . The network uses time-of-arrival signals from precisely located receivers and some serious hyperbolic math to locate the origin of lightning strikes. Horizontally polarized, magnetic signals usually originating from cloud-to-cloud strikes as well as vertically polarized electrical signals originating from cloud-to-ground (or vice versa) strikes are monitored. Separate antenna are used for each type of signal.

You are warned that none of the information presented here is to be used for determining the safety of the outdoor activities or for commercial use. It is only intended for personal enjoyment and scientific study

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