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MEASUREMENT OF TEMPERATURE. Temperature is the condition which determines the direction of the net flow of heat between two bodies. Meteorological requirements for temperature measurements primarily related to : The air near the Earth’s surface, The surface of the ground,

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Temperature is the condition which determines the direction of the net flow of heat between two bodies.

Meteorological requirements for temperaturemeasurements primarily related to :

  • The air near the Earth’s surface,
  • The surface of the ground,
  • The soil at various depth,
  • The surface levels of the sea and lakes,
  • The upper air.
1 liquid in glass thermometers
1. Liquid-in-glass thermometers

The liquid used depends on the required temperature range; mecury is generally used the temperatures above its freezing point (-38.3°C), While ethyl alcohol or other pure organic liquids are used for lower temperatures.

there are four main types of construction for meteorological thermometers
There are four main types of construction for meteorological thermometers ;
  • The sheathed type with the scale engraved on the thermometer stem,
  • The sheathed type with the scale engraved on an opal glass strip attached to the thermometer tube inside the sheath,
  • The unsheathed type with the graduation marks on the stem and mounted on a metal, porcelain or wooden back carrying the scale numbers,
  • The unsheathed type with the scale engraved on the stem.
the main source of error common to all in liquid in glass thermometers are
The main source of error common to all in liquid-in-glass thermometers are;
  • Elastic error,
  • Errors caused by the emergent stem,
  • Parallax and gross reading errors,
  • Changes in the volume of the bulb produced by exterior or interior pressure,
  • Capillarity,
  • Errors in scale division and calibration,
  • Inequalities in the expansion of the liquid and glass over the range considered.
2 mechanical thermographs
2. Mechanical thermographs

A. Bimetallic Thermograph

  • In bimetallic thermographs, the movement of the recording pen is controlled by the change in curvature of a bimetallic strip or helix, one and of which is rigidly fixed to an arm attached to the frame.
b bourdon tube thermograph
B. Bourdon-tube thermograph

The general arrangement is similar to that of the bimetallic type but its temperature-sensitive element is in the form of a curved metal tube of flat, elliptical section, filled with alcohol.

In the thermograph mechanism itself, friction is the main source of error.

3 electrical thermometers
3. Electrical thermometers

A. Electrical resistance thermometers

B. Semiconductor thermometers

C. Thermocouples

The most frequently used sensors are electrical resistance, semiconductor thermometers (thermistors) and thermocouples.

their main advantages of the electrical thermometers are
Their main advantages of the electrical thermometers are;
  • Easy to use in remote indication of the output signals,
  • Simples the recording the output signals,
  • Ability to store the data,
  • Possible to transfer the temperature data.
electrical resistance thermometers
Electrical resistance thermometers

A measurement of the electrical resistance of a materialwhose resistance varies in a known manner with the temperature of the material can be used to represent the temperature.

Pure platinum best satisfies the foregoing requirements. Copper is a suitable material for use in secondary standards. Practical thermometers are artificially aged before use and are commonly made from platinum alloys, nickel, or copper (and occasionally tungsten) for meteorological purposes. Usually they are hermetically sealed with either glass or ceramic. Nevertheless, their time constant is smaller than that of the liquid-in-glass thermometers.

a good metal resistance thermometer will satisfy the following requirements
A good metal resistance thermometer will satisfy the following requirements:
  • Its physical and chemical properties will remain the same through the temperature measurement range,
  • Its resistance will increase steadily with increasing temperature without any discontinuities in the range of measurement,
  • External influences such as humidity, corrosion, or physical deformations will not alter its resistance appreciable,
  • Its characteristics will remain stable over period of two years or more,
  • Its resistance and thermal coefficient should be large enough to be useful in measuring circuit.
semiconductor thermometers
Semiconductor thermometers

This is a semiconductor with a relatively large temperature coefficient of resistance, which may be either positive or negative depending upon the actual material. Mixture of sintered metallic oxides are suitable for making practical thermistors, which usually take the form of small disc, rods, or spheres and are often glass-coated.

the advantages of thermistors from a thermometric point of view are
The advantages of thermistors from a thermometric point of view are:
  • The large temperature coefficient of resistance enable the voltage applied across a resistance bridge to be reduced while attaining the same sensitivity, thus reducing or even eliminating the need to account for the resistance of the leads and its changes,
  • The elements can be made very small, so their very low thermal capacities can yield a small time constant.

If a simple circuit is made with two metals and with the conjuction at the same temperature there will be no resultant electromotive forces, one at each junction, will exactly oppose and cancel one another. If the temperature of one junction is altered, the two electromotive forces no longer balance and there is a net electromotive force set up in the circuit; a current then flow. For meteorology, thermocouples are mostly used when a temperature of very small time constant, of the order of one or two seconds, and capable of remote reading and recording. Copper-constantan or iron-constantan combinations are suitable for meteorological work.

air temperature measurement

The most common types of thermometers used in an AWOS are pure metal resistance thermometers or thermistors. The platinum resistance thermometer (PT100, 100Ω at 0°C) shows a very good long time stability and can be considered as a first candidate sensor.

Electrical thermometers usually have a short time constant and, when sampled by fast electronic circuits, their output will reflect high-frequency, low amplitude fluctuations of the local temperature. To avoid this problem, one can use sensors with a long time constant, can artificially damp the response with a suitable circuit to increase the time constant of the signal, or can average digitally the sampled outputs in the CPS.
Resistance thermometers require linearization. This can be obtained by appropriate circuits in signal conditioning modules, but can also be done by software algorithms. It is highly recommended to linearize the thermistor characteristics.
Of great concern is the proper exposure of the sensor against radiation effects. Radiation shields adjusted to the size of the sensor are widely used and replace the common naturally ventilated Stevenson screen in an AWOS. For accurate measurements, the radiation shield should be artificially ventilated with an air speed of about 3 m/s.
Temperature probe designed for air temperature, surface ground temperature and soil temperature measurements. The PT100 high quality probe family uses a highly stable and accurate platinum sensing element. Waterproof construction and used materials ensure long time reliability in extreme environmental conditions
The standard depths for soil temperature measurements are, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 cm below the surface; additional depths may be included., The installation of resistance thermistors (PT 100) at the 206 AWOS as showing below.