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The Value of Routine Site Visits in Managing and Maintaining Quality Data from the Oklahoma Mesonet

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  • 1 Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 2 Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, Norman, Oklahoma
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Abstract

The Oklahoma Mesonet, jointly operated by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, is a network of 116 environmental monitoring stations across Oklahoma. Technicians at the Oklahoma Mesonet perform three seasonal (i.e., spring, summer, and fall) maintenance passes annually. During each 3-month-long pass, a technician visits every Mesonet site. The Mesonet employs four technicians who each maintain the stations in a given quadrant of the state. The purpose of a maintenance pass is to 1) provide proactive vegetation maintenance, 2) perform sensor rotations, 3) clean and inspect sensors, 4) test the performance of sensors in the field, 5) standardize maintenance procedures at each site, 6) document the site characteristics with digital photographs, and 7) inspect the station’s hardware. The Oklahoma Mesonet has learned that routine and standardized station maintenance has two unique benefits: 1) it allows personnel the ability to manage a large network efficiently, and 2) it provides users access to a multitude of station metadata.

Corresponding author address: Christopher A. Fiebrich, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 100 East Boyd St., Suite 1210, Norman, OK 73019. Email: chris@mesonet.org

Abstract

The Oklahoma Mesonet, jointly operated by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, is a network of 116 environmental monitoring stations across Oklahoma. Technicians at the Oklahoma Mesonet perform three seasonal (i.e., spring, summer, and fall) maintenance passes annually. During each 3-month-long pass, a technician visits every Mesonet site. The Mesonet employs four technicians who each maintain the stations in a given quadrant of the state. The purpose of a maintenance pass is to 1) provide proactive vegetation maintenance, 2) perform sensor rotations, 3) clean and inspect sensors, 4) test the performance of sensors in the field, 5) standardize maintenance procedures at each site, 6) document the site characteristics with digital photographs, and 7) inspect the station’s hardware. The Oklahoma Mesonet has learned that routine and standardized station maintenance has two unique benefits: 1) it allows personnel the ability to manage a large network efficiently, and 2) it provides users access to a multitude of station metadata.

Corresponding author address: Christopher A. Fiebrich, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 100 East Boyd St., Suite 1210, Norman, OK 73019. Email: chris@mesonet.org

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