Kassel Urban Climate Observation Network (KUCON)

Image: Umweltmeteorologie

The Kassel Urban Climate Observation Network (KUCON) is a project of the Department of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Kassel. The aim is to observe the spatial variability of air temperature and other meteorological variables in Kassel and the region with the help of ten to twenty compact all-in-one weather stations to be installed in the city. The sensors will measure air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed and wind direction. The collected data set will allow detailed analyses of the city climate and Kassel and will be used to evaluate different modelling approaches.

The KUCON project is divided into the following four phases:

In the first phase, a suitable All-in-One (AIO) sensor is selected. The selection of sensors is done in three phases: First, different sensors are selected based on certain parameters such as available literature sources, low cost, high accuracy, power consumption, data transmission method, etc. Secondly, the selected sensors are tested for accuracy in a climatic chamber where they are run through a defined program of temperature ranges and time intervals. Thirdly, the sensors are tested in situ on a test bench and compared with each other. The observed results of the test phase are calibrated using statistical methods to verify the accuracy of the individual sensors and form the basis for the selection of the sensor type.

A detailed plan for the placement of the sensors will be developed through a systematic and statistical approach. The main goal is to find specific locations within Kassel and its surroundings to capture the spatial variability of the local climate with a limited number of ten to twenty stations. The basis for the selection is a gridded map of Kassel, which is filtered through the use of a Local Climate Zones (LCZ) map, topography data and urban morphology data for a systematic sensor placement plan. This map is then used to install sensors in the defined areas of Kassel.

Once the sensors have been installed, the actual operating phase begins and the climate data is recorded. The sensor network will have a central platform for data acquisition. The server for communication will have several data loggers and perform automatic quality control steps.

In this phase, the collected and observed data will be shared and made available to other researchers. The data from KUCON will also become part of the FAIRNESS project.