The ability to accurately measure environmental parameters on a local scale is becoming an increasing need worldwide, whether you’re a hydrologist, an environmental researcher, or even a farmer. It is evident now that the environmental conditions and forecasts for one location cannot always be extrapolated for nearby areas. Due to differences in terrain, elevation, and topography, a rain event in one location does not necessarily mean that same event will occur even 1km away. Therefore, it is vital to have specific, localized environmental data that can tell you what is happening in a small field or research plot, rather than relying on larger regional or national weather services.
While many companies sell weather stations, often these systems are not customizable to fit the needs of the individual researcher and many can be cost prohibitive. In order to help fill this need, Decagon offers three distinct weather monitoring packages that are designed for specific uses: Weather monitoring, watershed characterization, and irrigation monitoring. Each of these packages is comprised of unique set of purpose-built sensors and logger that is designed to measure parameters needed for each of these specific purposes.
The Weather Monitoring package is comprised of a Davis cup anemometer, a temperature/relative humidity sensor with radiation shield, a solar radiation sensor, a high-resolution precipitation gauge, and a central datalogger. Optional soil moisture sensors are also available. The data from these sensors can also be used to calculate evapotranspiration.
The Watershed Characterization package is designed for hydrological and water resources studies, and can measure the flux of soil water vertically past the root zone as well as spatially within the soil. This package has a deep drainage lysimeter, three soil moisture/soil temperature sensors, a high-resolution precipitation gage, and a central datalogger.
The Irrigation Monitoring package is designed for monitoring the soil water resources for agronomists and commercial farming consultants. It is comprised of 2 soil moisture/soil temperature/EC sensors, a matric water potential sensor, a pressure switch, a high-resolution precipitation gauge, and a central datalogger.
The central logger for each system is a simple plug and play system that comes with software to easily configure the logger and download data. By thus helping researchers monitor small changes to their local environment, they can improve their ability to understand and react to phenomena that impact the overall environment and water resources of us all.