Clouds. In all variations, always moving and every single cloud as a unique one. Whether if they appear as a blanket of clouds, a huge cloud-landscape or if they look like small cottonwool balls. As simple as clouds may seem, they are raising a lot of questions. Not least because they are in unspeakable height and usually pass as quickly as they came across. Also the nocturnal darkness makes it difficult for half a day to keep an eye on the phenomena of the sky. To make matters worse the observation and analysis of clouds is still operated worldwide by a high amount of manual work. That means that meteorologists themselves have to go outside several times a day in order to determine, for instance, the degree of coverage and the types of clouds.
PMOD/WRC took this opportunity one step further in order to move towards automation. With a self-written software and an infrared camera as part of an exclusively designed installation, cloud research is now carried out much more efficiently. A catadioptric system consisting of a gold-coated convex mirror and an infrared camera makes (the so called IRCCAM) about 1,440 shots a day from the sky. Emissions of clouds, as well as their height and density, can now be watched, documented and analysed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Since the IRCCAM is outdoors it has to be weatherproof. A challenging task – even for a Mini-PC – which is here used as a control unit.
The Embedded-PC for particularly harsh environments: The spo-book RUGGED HM87.
The robust IPC reliably provides his service even at temperatures of minus 30° Celsius up to plus 60° Celsius. A large selection of COM and USB ports as well as a powerful and energy-efficient Core i3 processor from Intel, make the spo-book RUGGED HM87 the optimal solution for PMOD/WRC’s innovative outdoor installation.
The creativity of PMOD/WRC affords a valuable contribution to cloud researches. We are glad to be able to also contribute a small part in form of our Mini-PC, the spo-book RUGGED HM87, and that the IRCCAM of the institute for scientific researches is already running for a couple of months without causing any problem.