Submitted to: Open Journal of Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2019
Publication Date: 10/11/2019
Citation: Lascano, R.J., Stout, J.E., Goebel, T.S., Gitz, D.C. 2019. A portable and mobile rainfall simulator. Open Journal of Soil Science. 9:207-218. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojss.2019.910012.
Interpretive Summary: Rainfall simulators are tools used to apply water to plots to simulate the effects of natural rain events and are mainly used to measure soil erosion and water runoff. ARS scientists in Lubbock, Texas designed a rainfall simulator using what is known as a Purdue-type simulator that could be transported on a commercial flatbed trailer. The wooden bed of the trailer was modified by cutting a section so that the simulator could be lowered and positioned directly above the target area and apply water. To do so required that the axle of the trailer could be removed and it was replaced with an axle-free wheel hubs and springs. We also added a remote control mover to position the flatbed with the simulator to the measurement area. The total cost of the hardware, not including the rainfall simulator, is $5300. We designed a rainfall simulator that while on the flatbed trailer can be lowered to the target area to measure soil erosion and water runoff. This feature shortens the time required to do measurements and can be operated by two individuals.
Technical Abstract: An existing Purdue-type rainfall simulator (RFS) was designed to be transported using a commercial flatbed trailer that was modified by cutting out a section of the wooden bed allowing the RFS to be positioned directly above the target area to measure soil erosion and water runoff. To allow water to pass through the trailer undisturbed, the axle of the trailer was removed and replaced with axle-free wheel hubs and springs. Additionally, a remote control mover rated for 2000 kg was incorporated in our design. The final result was a portable and mobile RFS that can be moved to fields using a trailer hitch and can be operated by two individuals. The cost of the hardware, not including the RFS, is $5300 (USD) and detailed design plans are available.