Extreme Measures at Mount Sonnblick

Extreme Measures at Mount Sonnblickarticle picture
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012 When weather conditions are harsh, instruments need to be of the best quality and have an outstanding performance and reliability. Kipp & Zonen products are renowned for their durability and all-weather capabilities and are the equipment of choice for use in extreme conditions.

Mount Sonnblick is such a location. At 3106 m above sea level in the central range of the Austrian Alps it is a world of extremes. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -37.4 °C, the greatest snow depth 11.9 m, and the highest wind speed 242.6 km/h. A perfect location for a 2AP sun tracker that was recently delivered!

The Sonnblick Observatorium, located at the top of the mountain, has been in operation since 1886 and has a large range of instrumentation for meteorology and atmospheric science. This data is combined with satellite and other observations for climate studies. The observatory also researches radiation physics, air composition, hydrology and geophysics, as well as glaciology and pollution of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Sonnblick is an ideal centre for atmospheric research because it is an unique environment for scientists. Far away from sources of pollution that affect the careful measurement of the free atmosphere above the European continent and the interaction between solar radiation and precipitation at different heights.

The Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) is the oldest Weather Service in the World, founded in 1851. It uses the observatory to make reliable, comprehensive observations of the chemical composition and selected physical characteristics of the atmosphere on global and regional scales.

Sonnblick Observatorium participates in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme. GAW was established by the World Meteorological Organization amid concerns for the state of the atmosphere in the 1960’s. It focuses on global networks for monitoring greenhouse gases, ozone, UV, aerosols, selected reactive gases and precipitation chemistry. The Kipp & Zonen 2AP sun tracker and complete set of radiometers will be used to ensure the highest quality solar radiation measurements, even under extreme conditions.

for the Sonnblick Observatorium (German only)

for Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)

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