Flood, Road, and Weather Data in Colorado

Flood, Road, and Weather Data in Colorado
AP No. 065: Colorado ALERT/RWIS
Flood, Road, and Weather Data in Colorado
Campbell dataloggers in ALERT stations also provide RWIS and meteorological data
Case Study Summary
Integration of RWIS into
ALERT network
Douglas County, Colorado
Contracting Agencies:
Douglas County
Denver Urban Drainage and
Flood Control District (UDFCD)
Datalogger Used:
Sensors Used:
SI-111, TE525, CS450, 05103
Communication Link:
radio, and cellular modem
Networks using the ALERT protocol are
designed to give immediate access to
data that indicates the likelihood of flood
conditions. ALERT stations typically are
set up to acquire and transmit hydrological and meteorological data on a timed
and event basis. What many users don’t
realize is that Campbell Scientific dataloggers that are used to run ALERT stations
have plenty of capability to spare, and
that capability can be leveraged to perform a variety of services.
Douglas County, Colorado, in conjunction with Denver’s Urban Drainage Flood
Control District (UDFCD), operates an
extensive ALERT network to monitor
potential flood conditions. In 2008, the
county decided that the next ALERT site
they set up should also have a camera
to monitor stream and road conditions,
and a road-temperature sensor to aid the
Public Works department with winter
maintenance. This would give the station
the abilities of a road-weather information system (RWIS).
To accomplish this task, Water & Earth
Technologies of Fort Collins, Colorado,
worked with Campbell Scientific to
design and build the new site as a multipurpose system. The new system has a
variety of features:
• The immediacy of an ALERT station
• Real-time and historical weather data
for meteorologists
• A cellular router for remote data
access and transmission to Weather
Underground (WU)
• A camera to send images to WU and
to the Public Works department
The Campbell Scientific CR1000 Measurement and Control Datalogger at the
Rob Niedenzu,
Water & Earth Technologies
Measured Parameters:
Water level, precipitation,
road-surface temperature, air
temperature, wind speed and
direction, camera feed
heart of the ALERT station was programmed to instruct the RF500M radio
modem to transmit precipitation, water
level, wind speed and gust, wind direction, and battery voltage to the UDFCD
base station in Denver using the ALERT
In addition to this normal flood-warning
role, the CR1000 acts as a web server,
using cellular communications to provide
users with near-real-time images of the
More info: 435.227.9000
Actual screen image of website hosted by CR1000 and available to system users.
Inset is closeup of staff gage visible on webcam image.
stream along with data for precipitation,
wind speed, wind gust, wind direction,
water level, and temperatures for water,
air, and road surface. A staff gauge was
painted on one of the bridge piers to be
visible by the camera, and this can be used
to verify the performance of the water-level sensors. As a public service, the CR1000
is also configured to use its Internet
communication abilities to send current
data along and camera images to Weather
Underground (wunderground.com).
This weather station has no access to
ac power, but is able to rely solely on
solar power. The programmability of the
CR1000 enabled use of power-saving
techniques such as turning off the cam-
815 W 1800 N | Logan, UT 84321-1784 | 435.227.9000 | www.campbellsci.com
era at night and powering down hungry
sensors when they are not needed.
Campbell Scientific dataloggers are
great foundations for ALERT systems.
But they are flexible enough to meet
expanding needs and interesting challenges to meet the needs of all potential
© 2011
© 2012
Campbell Scientific, Inc.
May 3, 2012
May 3, 2012
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