Accurate Temperature Measurements in a Naturally-Aspirated Radiation Shield
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Experiments and calculations were conducted with a 0.13 mm fine wire thermocouple within a naturally-aspirated Gill radiation shield to assess and improve the accuracy of air temperature measurements without the use of mechanical aspiration, wind speed or radiation measurements. It was found that this thermocouple measured the air temperature with root-mean-square errors of 0.35 K within the Gill shield without correction. A linear temperature correction was evaluated based on the difference between the interior plate and thermocouple temperatures. This correction was found to be relatively insensitive to shield design and yielded an error of 0.16 K for combined day and night observations. The correction was reliable in the daytime when the wind speed usually exceeds 1 m s−1 but occasionally performed poorly at night during very light winds. Inspection of the standard deviation in the thermocouple wire temperature identified these periods but did not unambiguously locate the most serious events. However, estimates of sensor accuracy during these periods is complicated by the much larger sampling volume of the mechanically-aspirated sensor compared with the naturally-aspirated sensor and the presence of significant near-surface temperature gradients. The root-mean-square errors therefore are upper limits to the aspiration error since they include intrinsic sensor differences and intermittent volume sampling differences.
KeywordsAir temperature measurement Measurement correction Radiation shield Thermocouple
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