University of Innsbruck

ACINN Graduate Seminar - WS 2023/24

2023-10-11 at 12:00 (on-line)

Distributed Temperature Sensing and its applications in studying forest-atmosphere interaction

Bart Schilperoort

eScience Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Distributed Temperature Sensing is a technique in which the temperature of a fiber optic cable can be measured along its entire length, like a long string of thermometers. With the right equipment, cables, and setup, DTS can be used to measure the air temperature at fine spatial resolutions (< 50 cm) at relatively high frequency (1Hz) and at large vertical and horizontal scales.

By placing the fiber optical cables into areas of interest, such as forests, orchards, and even glaciers, DTS measurements can provide insights which would be unfeasible or impossible to measure otherwise:

For research into nighttime canopy decoupling, we measured a temperature profile in a Douglas Fir forest in the Netherlands. With the DTS data we were able to detect strong inversions within the canopy, not only the expected one at the top of the canopy, but also an additional second sharp inversion in the open understory. This second inversion showed strong vertical oscillations at multiple time scales, which we could track precisely with our measurements.

Wind machines have been increasingly used for frost damage mitigation in the agricultural community. During radiative frost nights, wind machines are used to erode near-surface thermal inversion by air mixing. We measured a quasi-3D temperature response over 6.75 ha with 9 km of fiber optic cable, with which we could characterise the warming effects (magnitude & area) of the induced air mixing.

Lastly, I want to highlight the role that open research software has played in this research, specifically our “dtscalibration” python package.




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