Monday, 1 February 2010

Instruments up and running

Since this weekend, the BelAtmos instruments are running again. Irina has installed the Cimel sunphotometer on the top of the roof of the station. Together with Johan Berte she fixed the interface platform on the triangle-formed top. The final installation then was quite some work, because the instrument had to be leveled and then its orientation towards the sun had to be checked. For the perfect orientation to the sun, Irina put the instrument in manual mode and executed some special commands to direct the sunphotometer to the sun. Then there is the check that a small spot on the instrument is lit perfectly by the sun. If not, one has to correct either leveling or the azimuth of the pointing instrument. Normally, this procedure is re-iterated several times and Irina had to climb on the rooftop each time, perfectionizing the screwing and leveling – not an easy job. After all, the sunphotometer is put into automatic mode and carries out the measurements independently .

Finally, the sunphotometer has found its place at the Princess Elisabeth station, overlooking the area. The instruments to the right, on the main roof, are the ceilometer, the micro rain radar and the pyrometer of the Hydrant project of KU Leuven, all of them also installed by Irina. The aethalomter was also about to start up measurements in this weekend.