Observation


Sensors using thermo-electric effects



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7
2.1.223 Sensors using thermo-electric effects
- Thermocouples
Thermocouples are convenient temperature sensors because
they are inexpensive and easy to make. For meteorological
applications, copper-constantan thermocouples are the ones
most frequently used. The weak thermal electromotive force
response, of about O uV/degrees centigrade, can be
increased by connecting several thermocouples in series, orb busing suitable dc. amplifiers. Modern recorders provide
for reference junction temperature measurements and/or
compensation. With reference to the basic physical
principle, thermocouple instruments are especially useful
for differential measurements.
- Heat-flux plates
Usually these instruments are thermopiles whose output is
proportional to the temperature difference between the
sides of a plate crossed by the flux.
(Suppliers: AB)
- Diodes and transistors
Diodes and transistors with outputs higher than 1uV/
degrees centigrade are used to construct sensitive and
accurate thermometers for applications in plant
environments.
- Katathermometers
To measure the cooling effect of temperature and wind,
Katathermometers are used. They are spirit in glass
thermometers with a rather big bulb of accurately
determined area. With these, the time required fora fixed
amount of cooling, after the thermometer has been warmed,
is measured.
2.1.224 Radiative sensors
Surface temperatures can be determined by using radiation
measurements and applying the physical radiation laws (Stefan
Boltzmann, W. Wien), to them. These methods are mainly
applied in remote sensing from aircrafts and satellites.
2.1.225 The chemical transformation of saccarose to glucose and
fructose in a solution is an exponential function of its pH
value and temperature. This reaction is used to measure the
average temperature (or rather the heat quantity received)
over a longer period. To measure the state of transformation,
a polarimeter is used. With respect to the nonlinear
response of the chemical reaction to temperature,
satisfactory results with this method are mainly obtained
where temperature variations are small (soil, water bodies.


8
2.2.
Humidity of the Air
2.2.1 General comments on air humidity measurements
2.2.11 Physical aspects
Air humidity is defined by the water vapour contained in the
atmosphere. 20 definitions and specifications are given by
WMO. The most relevant for agricultural meteorological
purposes are
- Vapour pressure "e partial pressure of water vapour in
moist air of the total atmospheric pressure "p. (units :mb)
- Saturation vapour pressure "E maximal water vapour
pressure at pressure p and temperature T. (unit : mb)
- Relative humidity "U":Ratio in percent of partial to
saturation vapour pressure of a given total pressure p and
at temperature T. 0 = 100 = e/E (unit
:%)
-
Dew point temperature "Td": Temperature at which the

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