Submitted to: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center (ARS-CPCRC) meteorological monitoring network was designed and developed to collect accurate and reliable meteorological data for research purposes. The network allows access to high-quality weather data in a "near-real-time" platform. The ARS-CPCRC monitoring network consists of four remote stations, plus the on-site station at the Pendleton Agricultural Research Center. The remote stations are located on various cooperator properties near Pendleton. The network collects wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, 1" and 4" soil temperature, solar radiation, and precipitation data (4" soil moisture at select locations, and calculated evapotranspiration) at the sites. The data are retrieved via cellular telephone telemetry to a PC located in the ARS office. The data are used in studying weather/climate effects on soil erosion, plant stress associated with developing sustainable soil and water conservation systems, as well as providing a long-term regional database of climatic conditions. Future plans include providing near-real-time data updates through the internet. Additionally, as new cooperative partnerships are formed, the network may be expanded to increase the coverage area, and ultimately the informational value of the network.
Technical Abstract: In order to collect accurate and reliable meteorological data for research purposes, a well-designed monitoring plan must be implemented. The Agricultural Research Service Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center (ARS-CPCRC) meteorological monitoring network was designed and developed in order to provide researchers access to high-quality weather data in a "near-real-time" platform. The system was designed such that, in the future, the general public will also be able to access this data in near real time via the internet. The design and implementation of an accurate and standardized meteorological station for research data collection was a key element in the development of the ARS-CPCRC monitoring network. Each research location provides unique topography, slope orientation, agricultural practices, influenced by microclimates that need to be measured at points representative of the overall research area. The design, installation, operation, and cost of a representative station in the ARS-CPCRC meteorological monitoring are described.