DIT roof-top lab measures urban climatology

DIT Scientists investigate urban climate in Dublin

9th August 2012: A research team in the School of Electrical Engineering Systems in DIT has established a rooftop meteorological observation site in the heart of Dublin city to facilitate research into urban climatology and to connect with an international network of urban monitoring sites. The observation site was unveiled to colleagues and visiting researchers this afternoon.

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The roof-top lab, which offers huge scope for the greater scientific community, is the result of an exciting collaboration between DIT researcher Keith Sunderland, his PhD supervisors Dr. Gerard Mills and Dr. Michael Conlon of DIT. A suite of instruments, installed on a 10m tower on the roof of the DIT building on Kevin Street, will measure net radiation (solar and terrestrial); wind velocity in three dimensions (u, v and w); air temperature; humidity; the turbulent fluxes of sensible heat (H) and latent (LE); and atmosphere concentrations of CO2 and H2O. This installation is part of a larger urban climate research initiative developed in collaboration with Dr. Rowan Fealy, NUIM, and funded by the HEA.

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According to Sunderland, the initiative also provides an internationally unique context for diverse research interests. “Right now we are working with a group of scientists from NUI Maynooth and University College Dublin on a project that brings together research into both urban climatology and electrical engineering. However this initiative provides opportunities for research interests in the broader Built Environment and Science communities at DIT and beyond, with potential at both post graduate and undergraduate levels. The data collected may be used to explore other specific and general urban issues, such as wind pressures on buildings, urban planning and urban carbon foot prints. In fact, this data set also presents opportunities for linkages with urban planning bodies such as Dublin City Council.”

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The launch of the Observation Site coincides with the International Conference on Urban Climate( ICUC 8) and the 10th Symposium on the Urban Environment (www.icuc8.org), which is being held this week at UCD. Delegates at the international conference will be afforded access to the roof-top Observation Site in Kevin Street and researchers will be on hand to outline the diversity of the research. Representatives of Li-COR BioSciences, the international designer and manufacturer of scientific instruments, will be present to talk about their interest in the project and how they intend to use the observation site as an international benchmark for urban micro climatology and environmental observations. Li-COR has supported the establishment of the site, providing equipment and maintenance agreement at reduced cost.

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Guests at the launch included academics and researchers from universities in Ireland and internationally, as well as colleagues from Met Éireann and Dublin City Council.

To see the roof-top lab in real time, click here for our camera view:  http://147.252.226.200/cgi-bin/guestimage.html

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