Skip to main content

Environmental Instrumentation

PSC 5000 / 6000; FALL SEMESTER 2007
INSTRUCTOR: Bruce Bugbee and Mark Blonquist
Text: Micrometeorology in Agricultural Systems. Hatfield and Baker. 2005


The physics of signal transduction
How sensors convert an environmental parameter into an electric signal

Basic electronics needed to connect sensors with dataloggers.

Data collection and processing
Programming dataloggers to measure sensors


Temperature: air, soil, water. Thermocouples, thermistors, PRTs

Surface temperature (infrared radiation): canopy, soil, water, snow, roadway infrared radiometers

Pressure: barometric, water potential transducers, tensiometers

Humidity: absolute, relative psychrometers, capacitance

Radiation: solar (shortwave), longwave net, photosynthetic, UV thermopiles, photodiodes (silicon-cells)

Wind: speed, direction anemometers, heated needles, vanes

Precipitation: amount, intensity, duration tipping buckets, mass balances

Soil water content: TDR/TDT, capacitance

CO2, O2, and other gases: IR absorption, galvanic cells, polarographic cells

Spectroradiometric imaging of plant canopies: spectroradiometers

Additional Topics:

Advanced datalogger programming

Wireless sensors and networks

Measurement applications: special project on measurements in relation to their thesis project.