APRS coverage in the USA:
Frank Perdicaro says in comments:
Urban heat island measurement via APRS.
Today I finished off my ham radio General license, and one of the topics covered was APRS. The APRS system lets one communicate identity, location, time, and other meta data. I think it should be possible to create an APRS-enabled temperature station.
With a dozen stations, it would be possible to have a dozen people cross an urban
area in parallel, as their position and temperature were automatically noted by
the APRS net. Use of a few dozen APRS volunteers could produce definitive UHI maps by driving the same routes repeatedly across many days.
Due to the robustness of APRS, this looks like an easy task. All that is required is the funding.
Here in Orange County, we could definitively debunk the validity of the county’s
three official temperature stations. One is at the largest airport, one on the roof of a fire station in an urban setting, and the third next to the AC exhaust of the Nixon Presidential Library.
See all here. First congrats to Frank for completing his General License. I’m still a Technician Class, maybe time to move up. For those who don’t know :
Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio-based system for real time tactical digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area. In addition, all such data is ingested into the APRS Internet system (APRS-IS) and distributed globally for immediate access. Along with messages, alerts, announcements and bulletins, the most visible aspect of APRS is its map display. Anyone may place any object or information on his or her map, and it is distributed to all maps of all users in the local RF network or monitoring the area via the Internet. Any station, radio or object that has an attached GPS is automatically tracked. Other prominent map features are weather stations, alerts and objects and other map-related amateur radio volunteer activities including Search and Rescue and signal direction finding.
APRS has been developed since the late 1980s by Bob Bruninga, callsign WB4APR, currently a senior research engineer at the United States Naval Academy. He still maintains the main APRS website. The acronym “APRS” was derived from his callsign.
What Frank proposes has some merit, and this seems a good place to toss around ideas. It would provide for a separate “ground truth” of climate data, free from adjustments.
In fact, somebody has already invented an APRS thermometer, see here. It’s probably a bit crude for this application, but it is a proof of concept.