Vaisala RAINCAP® Sensor is an acoustic sensor that measures the impact of individual raindrops on a smooth stainless steel surface using a piezoelectric detector. The sensor provides real time information on rain intensity, duration, and accumulated rainfall.
The RAINCAP® sensor consists of a round stainless steel cover, approximately 90 mm in diameter mounted to a rigid frame. A piezoelectric detector is located beneath the cover. Raindrops hit the RAINCAP® sensor surface at terminal velocity, which is a function of the raindrop diameter.
Rain measurement is based on acoustic detection of each individual rain drop as it impacts the sensor cover. Larger drops create a larger acoustic signal than smaller drops. The piezoelectric detector converts the acoustic signals into voltages. Total rain is calculated from the sum of the individual voltage signals per unit time and the known surface area of the RAINCAP® sensor. In addition, the intensity and duration of rain can be calculated.