Italy – Supply and maintenance of the UNIMORE weather station network

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During the first months of 2012 Nesa srl was commissioned, by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, to supply, install and test a WMO-compliant weather station to be positioned on the tower of the ancient and prestigious Palazzo Ducale, towering over Piazza Roma, home to the Military Academy and the Geophysical Observatory.

The monitoring station in the center of Modena boasts a historical series of very high value, worldwide, in terms of continuity and congruity of the measures; started in 1830, and the subject of the publication of “The Modena Observatory: 180 years of climatic weather measurements” published on the initiative of the Italian Meteorological Society onlus – SMI and edited by Luca Lombroso and Salvatore Quattrocchi, these measures allow us to accurately reconstruct the climatic trend over the decades, comparing historical series and thus supporting the scientific analyzes on climatic variations in progress.

Nesa technicians, with the support and supervision of Luca Lombroso (WMO 1083 certified meteorologist technician and currently in charge of the maintenance and enhancement of the historic site, together with other stations in the area), first proceeded to dismantle the pre-existing equipment, recovering the mechanical components where possible, then proceeding with the installation of the new WMO-compliant instruments which still consist of a “First Class” wind speed sensor, wind direction sensor, heated rain sensor, thermo-hygrometric sensor, global solar radiation sensor and sensor for the measure of insolation. An advanced datalogger, equipped with a Linux operating system and web interface, is used for the acquisition and transmission of data every 10 minutes to a website, called “IRIS”, in the public domain and accessible here.

In addition to the renovation of the measures on the top of the tower, there was the need to update the sensors placed on the north side balcony, to ensure the acquisition of the thermo-hygrometric parameters in a different condition from the roof, in continuity with the historical series.

The installation was completed in mid-May 2012, a few days before the tragic telluric event that struck the Emilia region with a magnitude 6.1, recorded on May 20, 2012 at 04:03:52 Italian time. The earthquake, followed by numerous other tremors including the disastrous replies of May 29, caused the immediate closure, for security reasons, of the entire tower, without however affecting the meteorological measures. In the following years, thanks to the consolidation and safety work of the building, it was possible to activate an annual maintenance plan that includes the recalibration in the laboratory and the replacement of meteorological sensors on site, with a suitable “backup kit”.

Meanwhile, the collaboration with the University of Modena was expanded and strengthened, with the activation of a new contract for the supply, installation and testing of a meteorological station located on the roof of the Policlinico, about 3km away from Piazza Roma . Also in this case, Nesa carried out the activities envisaged by the contract, paying maximum attention to the particular top position which imposed some technical choices suitable to ensure resistance to strong winds that can sometimes be recorded during storms or configurations characterized by winds of “fohn”, in association with the necessary nightly optical signaling.

This station, whose public data can be consulted at this link, is also the subject of an annual maintenance contract that allows the acquisition of accurate data and ensures the long life of the products.

Finally, at the beginning of 2018, thanks to the transversal collaboration between Prof. Alberto Muscio of the Engineering Department “Enzo Ferrari”, of the architect. Anna Gelli of the Technical Department and with the scientific and technical support of Luca Lombroso, a new monitoring station of the Davis Instruments brand was installed, installed by Nesa technicians on their own 10m foldable pole, normally used for standard stations supplied in wide-ranging (such as monitoring networks for WASCAL).

The valid and lasting technical-scientific collaboration between Nesa and UNIMORE requires maintaining a high quality standard both for the supply of WMO-compliant instrumentation meeting the Customer’s requirements and for the implementation of adequate maintenance to existing stations. The company responds in line with expectations and will continue to develop and strengthen the synergy that was established more than 6 years ago.

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