A pyranometer facing upward from the ground measures the electromagnetic radiation from the sun after it has passed through the atmosphere. Various processes associated with the atmosphere’s physical and chemical properties modify the amount of solar energy at the top of the atmosphere and these provide insight into the most important variables which influence weather and climate. Data from this instrument will be used to quantify the amount of solar energy reaching the ground and to relate it to other observed parameters.
|A Pyrgeometer is used to measure the broadband thermal infrared radiation at the ground. This is radiation that has been emitted by the Earth itself and is an important component of the planetary radiation budget. These data may be used to illustrate the greenhouse effect since the surface is warmed by the combination of both solar and infrared radiation. The primary atmospheric variables which will influence the infrared radiation are water vapor amount, cloud cover, and cloud altitude.|
|The ceilometer provides information about the height of cloud base from the surface. This can be related to the temperature at cloud base which determines, to a large extent, the amount of infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere. A time series of cloud height data may be used to derive cloud amount and this is important for determining both the solar and infrared components of the radiative energy budget.|
|A sunphotometer which points at and tracks the sun can be used to determine the amount of optically active aerosol particles and gaseous constituents in a vertical column of atmosphere. Making these observations over a range of wavelengths provides additional information relating to the size and composition of suspended particulate matter.
|This instrument measures solar radiation at wavelengths similar to the pyronometer but at many different wavelengths. This information is needed to determine where across the solar spectrum energy is being absorbed and scattered in the atmosphere which can then be related to composition.|
|This instrument records continuously and automatically precipitation intensity using a high-resolution electronic weighing system.|
|This instrument is a modern laser-based optical system that differentiates and classifies precipitation particles as drizzle, rain, sleet, hail, snow, or mixed precipitation. It measures size and velocity of each individual precipitation particle, the amount of precipitation, the equivalent radar reflectivity, and the visibility.|
|The micro rain radar measures vertical profiles of rain fall rate, liquid water content, and drop size distribution with a high spatial (~30 m) and temporal (~10 s) resolution.|