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Rika Sensor is a weather sensor manufacturer and environmental monitoring solution provider with 10+ years of industry experience.

The Function and Significance of Optical Rain Gauge in Meteorological Monitoring

by:Rika Sensors     2021-10-01

In the study of meteorological elements, rainfall is an important part. Rainfall observation is a dynamic input project for studying the hydrological cycle system of a river basin or region. It is one of the important basic data of water resources. Development, river flood control, and project management play a very important role. The amount of precipitation will affect various fields such as human production and life. Excessive rainfall will cause natural disasters such as floods, landslides, mudslides, etc., as well as economic loss and inconvenience to human production and life; too little rainfall will increase domestic water, farmland irrigation water, and factory water use. Contradiction; causing land salinization or land desertification, etc.

In China, as early as the Yin and Shang dynasties, there were records of rainfall in the oracle-bone meteorological archives, which were classified into heavy rain, light rain, heavy rain, and no rain. In the 7th century BC, Guan Zhong, an outstanding politician in the Spring and Autumn Period, used groundwater levels to determine the level of drought and flood. The Qin Dynasty in the century BC established a system that required all parts of the country to report Yuze. In the Ming Dynasty, Ming Chengzu Zhu Di asked the local governor to use a uniform standard rain gauge and report the rainfall to the court every year to estimate the agricultural production in each region. The Qingyulu in the Qing Dynasty is the most systematic and complete historical record of meteorological observations in the world and is accepted by the scientific community today. It is a valuable historical document for studying climate change in China. This shows that China has a long-term practice of reporting rain, and has a complete observation and theory of rainfall calculation.

Because of the strong locality and diurnal variation of rainfall, historically, it has been difficult to carry out quantitative measurement of rainfall day by day and hour by day. However, with the advancement of technology and the rapid development of electronic sensors, our rain gauges for detecting rainfall have also developed from artificial rain gauges and siphon rain gauges to today's tipping bucket rain gauges and optical rain gauges. We are already very familiar with tipping bucket rain gauges, so let’s take a look at optical rain gauges today~

Optical rain gauges are a new type of meteorological sensor based on the principle of photoelectric detection, mainly used to measure rainfall. When raindrops (or other precipitation particles such as snow particles) pass through the sampling space, the raindrops will block the laser, and the optical signal received by the sensor and the electrical signal (such as voltage or current) converted from the optical signal will change. After the sampling space, the electrical signal of the receiving sensor is restored to the state before the raindrop enters the sampling space. When the raindrops pass through the sampling space, the electrical signals of the receiving sensor are processed, and the time for the raindrops to pass through the sampling space can be obtained.

The optical rain gauge RS-GYL-*-1 adopts the principle of infrared light sensing and uses the characteristic of different light transmission properties when there are water droplets in the air to judge the rainfall. It has built-in multiple optical probes, strict optical path analysis, and rainfall detection. It is reliable and can be widely used in industries and fields such as smart irrigation, ship navigation, mobile weather stations, automatic doors and windows, and geological disasters.Different from mechanical rain gauges, optical rain gauges are smaller, more sensitive and reliable, smarter, and easier to maintain. Optical rain gauges use electronic optics and a series of microelectronic filtering, amplification, and detection technologies. This principle has sensitivity advantages over conventional mechanical rain gauges. During installation, because the optical rain gauge is non-mechanical and non-contact measurement, there is no horizontal installation requirement, simple installation, and easy maintenance in the later period. The shell has smooth lines, easy-to-maintain design, and it is not easy to be blocked by fallen leaves.The optical rain gauge has two signal outputs of RS485 type and pulse type for selection. Among them, the RS485 type can be equipped with a small ultrasonic wind speed and direction sensor and a small ultrasonic weather station.

RS485 optical rain gauge can upload the collected data to the computer software through RS485 to USB module.You can also connect to a small host or a weather host to upload data to our environmental monitoring cloud platform for real-time monitoring.From the ancient times of 'Rain measurement from heaven and earth' to the current automatic rainfall measurement tools, every advancement of rain measuring equipment has been devoted to the ancestors' painstaking efforts and wisdom, and has experienced a long and difficult experience. The process has become an indelible mark in the development of hydrology.

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