Campbell Scientific data loggers are delivering extended capabilities at ALERT stations to help perform a variety of services.
ALERT stations are designed to acquire and transmit hydrological and meteorological data on a timed and event basis. Networks using the ALERT protocol give immediate access to data that indicates the likelihood of flood conditions. However, the many capabilities of Campbell Scientific data loggers can be leveraged to extend their role beyond mere flood warning duties.
Douglas County, Colorado in conjunction with Denver’s Urban Drainage Flood Control District (UDFCD), operates an extensive ALERT network to monitor potential flood conditions. In 2008, the county decided to set up a new ALERT station where they planned to have a camera to monitor stream and road conditions, and a road temperature sensor to aid the Public Works department with winter maintenance. This would give the station the abilities of a road weather information system (RWIS).
Water & Earth Technologies of Fort Collins, Colorado worked with Campbell Scientific to design and build the new multipurpose system offering the immediacy of an ALERT station as well as real-time and historical weather data for meteorologists in addition to incorporating a cellular router for remote data access and transmission to Weather Underground (WU) and a camera to send images to WU and the Public Works department.
The Campbell Scientific CR1000 measurement and control data logger at the heart of the ALERT station was programmed to instruct the RF500M radio modem to transmit precipitation, water level, wind speed and gust, wind direction, and battery voltage to the UDFCD base station in Denver using the ALERT protocol.
The CR1000 data logger also functions as a web server, using cellular communications to provide other users with near-real-time images of the stream, along with the same type of data sent to the ALERT network, and temperatures for water, air, and road surface.
A staff gauge painted on one of the bridge piers in full view of the camera can be used to verify the performance of the water level sensors. As a public service, the CR1000 is also configured to use its Internet communication abilities to send current data and camera images to the Weather Underground website (wunderground.com).
Given that the weather station is completely reliant on solar power, the CR1000 can be programmed for power-saving techniques such as turning off the camera at night and powering down hungry sensors when they are not needed.
CR1000 measurement and control data loggers are available in Australia from Campbell Scientific Aust