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Environmental Monitoring Upgrades

Environmental Monitoring Upgrades

May 30, 2013

The environmental monitoring systems at the LUMCON Marine Center in Cocodrie and in the middle of Terrebonne Bay are being upgraded and brought back on line.  A substantial investment in new equipment, logging capabilities and software started this spring, and the first installation (partial) was on May 22-23 at the Marine Center with light and weather instrumentation. Kyle Waits, Mike Lizotte and Brittany Billich from Xylem (formerly YSI) worked with Amanda Fontenot and Lora Pride of LUMCON, to dismantle and reconstruct. Test data for real time are being logged and presented at Storm Central, Water Log, a Xylem web system. [Not quite ready for prime time.]
The ancient weather gauges were replaced with a Vaisala Weather Transmitter, which measures barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation, temperature, and wind speed and direction. Purchase of another will allow similar transmission of weather data from Terrebonne Bay. Eventually YSI EXO water quality sondes with vented cable for water level will be installed at the two stations. We anticipate this in July. The first cable manufactured was faulty and has to be redone.

This has been a slow process of degradation, inability to service old instrumentation and a fairly continuous stream of calls and emails from people wanting the LUMCON weather and water data.  By focusing on these two stations, we plan to keep them functional. The Lake Pontchartrain station was hit by Hurricane Isaac, and the tower and instrumentation are in the water, yet to be recovered. Other stations have been taken off line. Historic data are still available from the old stations by request to http://weather.lumcon.edu/archivedata/. The new stations will eventually serve data to NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System.