spo-book RUGGED HM87: Cloud research in the manner of PMOD/WRC

The Physical- Meteorological Observatory Davos and World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) is one of the two research departments of the Swiss Research Institute of Alpine Climate and Medicine. Since the establishment of PMOD in 1907, amidst Davos the sunlight and its effects on climate are being studied. Developments of the institute, like diverse radiometers, are ranked amongst the world's most accurate of its kind and are used both on the ground and in space. How diversified the skills of PMOD/WRC are, shows since 2015 also the study of clouds.

Challenge

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.

Solution

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.

Result

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.

##Find out more about the spo-book RUGGED HM87

##Read more about PMOD/WRC

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