I just finished testing and putting together my road kit, as seen above. Can anyone guess what it is for?
Ok I think I have enough guesses. “Coyote” nailed it pretty well. Good job Warren. The road kit is packaged for getting on an airplane, hopefully I’ll be able to explain it well enough to pass airport security. I’m going to give myself an extra hour just in case they think its a “Eludium Pu-36 Explosive Space Modulator” as Robert Coté points out 😉 in comments.
It’s a UHI transect kit. I got the idea at Pielke’s August conference on land use changes. There were a couple of UHI studies presented there, both using data from existing static weather stations. The idea gelled after some observations of my vehicle air temp thermometer while crossing Denver headed to the airport returning from a station survey the next evening.
My experiment plan is this; by simultaneously logging temperature data and GPS readings on my laptop, I’ll be able the create a transect line. The Gill shield has a custom window clip which allows me to mount on the passenger window. The shield will be “aspirated” by driving. Should I have to stop for a signal. the GPS data will indicate a pause, and any temp data from that spot due to heat from the vehicle or others nearby can be excluded.
The temperature sensor and A/D converter for it both have NIST calibration, making them far better than the accuracy of an MMTS, but with the same resolution, 0.1°F.
The reason for the setup now is that I’m heading to Indianapolis next week, which was one of the cities presented in a study at Pielke’s conference. Plus that, Indianapolis is nearly perfectly flat and has transect roads that match the cardinal compass points.
According to Parker 2006, “The main impact of any urban warming is expected to be on Tmin on calm nights (Johnson et al. 1991)” so that’s what I’ll be testing. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
Coyote brings up a valid point about “I can’t figure how you deal with the time delay issue between readings.” which I assume to mean the overall atmospheric deltaT between the start of the transect and the end. I’m hoping that at night, with little traffic, I’ll be able to drive fast enough to minimize this. I expect that the deltaT of the transect itself will be larger than the deltaT for the time it takes to drive the transect. We’ll see. Also, I should be able to determine the deltaT for the city atmosphere for the time it takes to drive the transect from the static weather stations around the city. My guess is I’ll be able to transect the city in less than 30 minutes. I used to live near there, and knowing the city and it’s roads, I believe it’s possible.
If I do it late enough at night, say after midnight, I should be able to minimize waste heat contributions from other vehicle wakes ahead of me.
I welcome ideas and suggestions. I’m sure the usual folks will “pooh pooh” the idea, but with the help of my readers, perhaps I can minimize the weak points of the experiment.