Astroturf for Grass Min Sensor

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Astroturf for Grass Min Sensor

Postby Richard_Griffith » 2012 Aug 21, 07:21

I recall sometime ago mention was made that Astroturf was being trialled as a possible replacement for 'real' grass when used for Grass Minimum sensors at AWS sites. Does anyone have any further information or know the outcome of these trials

Regards
Richard Griffith
Horsham CDL AWS (Est 1982)
West Sussex
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Re: Astroturf for Grass Min Sensor

Postby Stephen Burt » 2012 Aug 21, 12:19

I did notice a year or two back that the grass min at St James's Park in central London was exposed over artificial grass (see photograph). Quite why, when the rest of the enclosure grass still has to be cut, quite escapes me ...

The surface and radiative properties of artificial grass are almost certainly very different from 'natural' grass, even the close-cropped variety in a met enclosure. If any research has been done on the difference in grass min readings between the two types, I haven't seen it.

It always surprises me that the Met Office is very restrictive (non-negotiable) on some aspects of instrument exposure, and yet in areas where the existing standards don't suit it just goes its own way without consultation regardless. Astroturf grass mins and stainless steel raingauges are two good examples.

SB
Attachments
2011 10 01 - 1110z - 007 (912 x 684) (228 x 171).jpg
Grass min at St James's Park climat site, central London, 1 October 2011
2011 10 01 - 1110z - 007 (912 x 684) (228 x 171).jpg (27.63 KiB) Viewed 803 times
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Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire - central southern England
51.4°N, 1.0°W, 60 m AMSL, station grade A - AAAA47R
Records commenced here 1987 - local records available back to 1862
The Weather Observer's Handbook: www.measuringtheweather.com
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Location: Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire; a well-exposed rural site, 10 km SW of Reading

Re: Astroturf for Grass Min Sensor

Postby Ken Cook » 2012 Aug 22, 09:39

Stephen Burt wrote:I did notice a year or two back that the grass min at St James's Park in central London was exposed over artificial grass (see photograph). Quite why, when the rest of the enclosure grass still has to be cut, quite escapes me ...


Hi, All,
I think many of the Met O sites' grass mins are now above artificial turf. Certainly the RAF bases in the Vale of York that I have visited recently were. The turf felt much warmer to the touch than the adjacent grass in daytime, don't know about the night but the properties are much different to natural grass. There was proper grass all around there as well!!
It was also used to bounce the signal for automatic sensing of snow depth which would obviously be affected by varying grass length. Better than nothing or being swamped by long grass I suppose but results should be treated with caution as should many AWS obs these days.
Ken
Copley, Teesdale, County Durham
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