Improving the Traceability of Meteorological Measurements at Automatic Weather Stations in Thailand
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A joint project between the National Institute of Metrology Thailand (NIMT) and the Thai Meteorology Department (TMD) was established for improving the traceability of meteorology measurements at automatic weather stations (AWSs) in Thailand. The project aimed to improve traceability of air temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure by implementing on-site calibration facilities and developing of new calibration procedures. First, new portable calibration facilities for air temperature, humidity and pressure were set up as working standard of the TMD. A portable humidity calibrator was applied as a uniform and stable source for calibration of thermo-hygrometers. A dew-point hygrometer was employed as reference hygrometer and a platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) traceable to NIMT was used as reference thermometer. The uniformity and stability in both temperature and relative humidity were characterized at NIMT. A transportable pressure calibrator was used for calibration of air pressure sensor. The estimate overall uncertainty of the calibration setup is 0.2 K for air temperature, 1.0 % for relative humidity and 0.2 hPa for atmospheric pressure, respectively. Second, on-site calibration procedures were developed and four AWSs in the central part and the northern of Thailand were chosen as pilot stations for on-site calibration using the new calibration setups and developed calibration procedures. At each station, the calibration was done at the minimum temperature, average temperature and maximum temperature of the year, for air temperature, 20 %, 55 % and 90 % for relative humidity at the average air temperature of that station and at a one-year statistics pressure range for atmospheric pressure at ambient temperature. Additional in-field uncertainty contributions such as the temperature dependence on relative humidity measurement were evaluated and included in the overall uncertainty budget. Preliminary calibration results showed that using a separate PRT probe at these AWSs would be recommended for improving the accuracy of air temperature measurement. In case of relative humidity measurement, the data logger software is needed to be upgraded for achieving higher accuracy of less than 3 %. For atmospheric pressure measurement, a higher accuracy barometer traceable to NIMT could be used to reduce the calibration uncertainty to below 0.2 hPa.
KeywordsAutomatic weather station Meteorology Traceability
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