A prototype of the Perpetual Environmental Station (PES1) has been mounted at LTU’s Luleå campus to test its performance during the winter time. PES1 is intended to be eventually installed in a remote location in Iceland, where it is expected to be providing real time data for a long period of time, so this first trial will serve to check its robustness.
The objective of the PES project is to develop an instrument able to monitor a series of critical environmental parameters, and to provide a steady flux of real time measurements for long periods of time, (eventually, during an unlimited period, hence its name), which can be applied to a variety of studies, ranging from atmospherics to seismology.
PES1 prototype counts by now on a limited number of sensors (which will be increase in further versions), including an upward and downward facing thermopile pyranometer that serves as an albedo-meter, an anemometer, a geophone to measure ground movement, and an environmental sensor suite, comprising temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors.
The functioning of the instrument is optimal so far, providing real time plots and data from all of its sensors, which are available online and at real time. Furthermore, the tests have reveal new clues on the versatility of the instrument’s data for the development of different studies. One of the interesting phenomena that PES1 has captured using its geophone sensor is the vehicle activity to and from LTU. The obtained seismograph shown in Figure 1 clearly indicates the activity of vehicles which, as expected, increases as day begins. The two circles in red colour in the Figure show the high amplitude peaks towards the beginning and the end of the day, which correspond to the first and the last bus arriving to LTU. The University bus stop is about 100 m away from the allocation of PES1, and by comparison with the enclosed bus timetable at the stop (Figure 2), we can clearly correlate the bus schedule with the geophone response. This is a perfect activity to test the operation of geophone in a (fortunately) seismically quiet place like Luleå, as well as to think of new applications for the instrument.
Figure 1 Seismograph from 14th November 2017. Figure 2 Timetable for bus line 6 at the stop at LTU.
Credits: Atmospheric Science Group