Five Steps To A Successful Remote Sensor Site Visit
Designing a wind measurement campaign calls for a high level of technical and field engineering expertise. Vaisala's Triton Wind Profiler takes a lot of the headache out of wind measurement. Still and yet, the best-laid plans can succumb to mundane details. What should be on everyone’s checklist when getting ready to commission, service, or move a Triton? Here's what our support team said:
1. Give the Vaisala support team advance notice.
Whether or not you have a support contract, it's important for us to know whether you are planning to visit your Triton. We can provide advice on what spare parts to bring and will be ready in case you need support in the field. Best practice? Let us know at least three business days before your visit.
2. Bring your camera (your cell phone is good enough) and take lots of pictures.
One of the most important pieces of information about your Triton is its location. Are there environmental factors we weren’t aware of before the equipment was sited? The Triton commissioning procedure requires you to take photos facing in eight directions from the Triton; it’s also important to take pictures of the Triton itself so we can see how it’s installed.
Not-so-incidentally, great photos of your Triton are always welcome here at Vaisala – many of us are sitting behind desks and we want to see what you’re doing in the field!
3. Label the pictures.
You might know your Triton as “Trudy the Triton,” but we don’t! Make sure that you store and share your Triton photos with at least the Triton serial number and the date, so that they can be tracked to a particular site visit.
4. Check your previous site visit documentation before you go, and make sure to record key information when you’re there.
What’s the land owner’s contact information? If you’ve ever found yourself outside a locked gate with no way to access your Triton, you’ll remember to get this information before you make a site visit. While you’re there, also note the modem serial number, and any changes you make to the software passwords.
5. Read the Triton Siting Guidelines, scope out the location, and plan for contingencies before installing the Triton.
The Triton Siting Guidelines were written by engineers with experience installing and analyzing data from hundreds of Tritons, and so it’s vital that you consult them to make sure you’re setting up your Triton for success. The Triton can be successfully deployed in complex terrain, and we have guidance for successfully siting it near towers and many terrain features. Wherever possible, send a scout to the location ahead of time – if you’ve ever seen your ex’s car parked in your driveway on Google Earth, you’ll know that this information is not always up-to-date. One of the great things about wind energy is it can co-exist with other land uses like agriculture – but please make sure you’ve accounted for things like being able to access a Triton site during certain times of the growing season, or if access roads need to be plowed ahead of time.
And if the Triton is behind a locked fence – don’t forget the keys.