This lesson provides an introduction to the instrumentation used for meteorological measurements. Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students in meteorology and the atmospheric sciences, it examines the types of observing systems available to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, trace gases, clouds and aerosols, winds, precipitation, and radiation. Learners will explore the main components of an instrument and become acquainted with performance characteristics including types of errors. This introductory lesson provides a foundation for more detailed training focused on measurement of specific meteorological variables.
Identify types of meteorological observing systems such as in-situ, remote sensing, and airborne
Identify basic technological elements of an instrument
Differentiate between types of measurements such as direct and indirect, and remote and in-situ measurements
Describe different types of meteorological variables to be measured, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, winds, clouds, precipitation, trace gases
Explain the operational characteristics of an instrument such as design convenience, reliability, stability, durability, and cost
Identify the key elements of observational representativeness including temporal and spatial (microscale, local scale, mesoscale, large scale, planetary scale) scales of phenomena, and measurement capability
Identify site selection considerations in terms of matching instrumentation and measurement strategies
Describe instrument and measurement uncertainty and the factors that are used to assess systematic and random errors, and the propagation of errors
instrument, instrumentation, measurement, meteorology, spatial scale, parameter, sensor, data display, data recorder, signal processor, error, precision, uncertainty, Earth, observation, tower, aircraft, remote sensing, in situ, direct, indirect, atmosphere, surface
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