«Sokol-M» weather station in nature reserves
an accurate tool for scientific work and a reliable assistant for disaster prevention


Reserve forest and nature

Country: Russia

Industry: forestry, nature reserves, national parks

Year: 2020

Clients: Nature reserves "Bastak" (127 thousand ha), Kostomukshsky (47.5), Nenetsky (313.4 thousand ha), Khopersky (16.2 thousand ha). National Parks "Krasnoyarskiye stolby" (48 thousand hectares) and "Lenskiye stolby"(1353 thousand hectares), World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Equipment: weather station "Sokol-M"

The specifics of the work and the tasks of the clients

Reserve top view

Today the Russian Federation has more than 100 nature reserves with an area of 27 million hectares and more than 60 national parks with an area of 22 million hectares. The total size of all specially protected natural areas (SPNA), including also natural parks and nature reserves, exceeds 200 million hectares.

The protection of rare places that are free from economic use helps to preserve and study nature in its natural state, maintain the genetic fund of the plant and animal world and save unique ecosystems from extinction.

An important part of the work of SPNA employees is related to meteorological observations. Accurate weather data are necessary for scientific activities, in particular, within the framework of maintaining the head document of the reserve - "Chronicles of Nature", and for tracking the risks of fires.

Reserve lake and mountain

Traditional weather stations, installed in most nature reserves and national parks, no longer meet modern requirements. To get readings it is needed to spend time traveling to remote sites. Data transmission and processing are often not automated, so it is necessary to start and analyze the information manually.

Specialists spend extra resources on meteorological observations, but in the end they still do not have the ability to make decisions quickly. While reliable and up– to-date information about weather conditions should be obtained as soon as possible-first of all, to take measures to comply with the fire regime. The slightest risks that are not detected in time can lead to disastrous consequences.

Solution

In order to implement the full range of meteorological tasks and prevent the threat of emergencies, the heads of the reserves decided to purchase modern meteorological equipment.

Among determined requirements for the new weather stations there were:

  • registration of all parameters necessary for the "Chronicle of Nature"
  • the ability to predict weather changes
  • real-time data transmission
  • support GSM, GLONASS / GPS, LoRa, Bluetooth
  • connecting additional devices, including wireless sensors
  • offline operation
  • resistance to harsh climatic conditions
Installation of the Sokol-M weather station in nature reserves and national parks
  • It should be noted that natural objects occupy vast territories up to 1.3 million hectares ("Lenskiye stolby"). Often there is no high-quality mobile signal, so the connection of the meteorological station with satellite systems is extremely necessary. It is equally important that the meteorological station could be operated in the absence of electrical networks, could withstand sudden temperature changes and extreme natural phenomena.

As a result of the consideration of various proposals, the heads of nature reserves and national parks made a choice in favor of the "Sokol-M" weather station produced by "Escort" Group of Companies.

  • "Sokol-M" is a versatile and cost-effective professional weather station that allows to record air temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, the amount and intensity of precipitation, and the UV index. In addition to the "Sokol-M" there is an ability to connect equipment within a radius of up to 5 km with data transmission via the LoRa wireless channel. For example, soil moisture/temperature sensors and leaf moisture sensors. Thus, the station allows users to get all the hydrometeorological parameters for maintaining the "Chronicle of Nature".
  • The "Chronicle of Nature" is a set of data on the dynamics of natural phenomena and processes occurring in the park during the year. At the end of each year, all observations on the course of natural processes are summarized, the main types of connections between the various components of nature, their features characteristic of this year are revealed. The "Chronicle of Nature" includes information about the territory of the National Park, the features of its relief, hydrography, soil and vegetation cover, weather and climate indicators, the main types of ecosystems, their structure and functioning.

Also a webcam for photographing weather events may be installed on the "Sokol-M".

Installation of the Sokol-M weather station in nature reserves and national parks

The weather station is delivered in the "Northern version". The set of "Sokol-M" equipment includes a solar panel (100 W) and a battery (120 ampere-hour). Due to this, it is possible to work in a completely autonomous mode for more than 3 years.

The equipment operates stably in the temperature range from +55 to -50 °C, which is confirmed by the work of the weather station in the territory with extremely low temperatures: the «Lenskiye stolby» Nature Reserve in Yakutia.

Installation of the Sokol-M weather station in nature reserves and national parks

"Sokol-M" is equipped with a GLONASS / GPS-receiver to set out the precise geolocation of the weather station within the site and a GSM-modem for data transmission via cellular communication channels. In regions with poor cellular network coverage, the meteorological station is equipped with an enhanced GSM antenna to increase the signal strength. In areas without GSM coverage, uninterrupted data transmission can be provided using Iridium satellite communications. In case of communication interruptions, "Sokol-M" still continues to accumulate readings in the built-in memory and transmits them to the server when a signal appears.

Installation of the Sokol-M weather station in nature reserves and national parks
  • One of the advantages of "Sokol-M" is the presence of an interface Bluetooth 4.0. This allows to control the meteorological station using mobile devices (smartphones, tablets).

The data received from "Sokol-M" are available to users in the Sokolmeteo cloud service and other systems with which the meteorological station is integrated. The hardware and software capabilities allow to get a 3-day weather forecast with 95% accuracy.

"Sokol-M" is a certified device (76239-19) and an approved type of measuring instruments (OS. S. 28. 001. A No. 75166). The meteorological station has certificates of compliance with the standards of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other CIS countries.

Result

Weather monitoring using the Sokol-M meteorological station in the reserve
Weather monitoring using the Sokol-M meteorological station in the reserve

The station records weather parameters and remotely transmits them to the monitoring system with a frequency set by users. The specialists of the reserves can observe the weather conditions online and analyze the situation for different time intervals.

The data received from "Sokol-M" are available in PC programs and in applications installed on employees' mobile devices.

Comments

Installation of the Sokol-M weather station in nature reserves and national parks

Representative of the "Bastak" Nature Reserve

In our reserve, the meteorological station is installed in the area of cedar-broad-leaved forests, which are characterized by the maximum biological diversity of flora and fauna. The presence of a modern meteorological post allows to collect and process weather data, store and analyze the entire volume of information in real time, and evaluate changes in the climatic indicators of a given territory. The installation of a meteorological station, in addition to its scientific significance, will greatly assist the security department, primarily in organizing fire patrols.

Reserve river and bank

Representative of the "Khopersky" Nature Reserve

In addition to the "Sokol-M" we plan to install cables for a remote weather vane and anemometer, a web camera for photographing weather events, and a sensor for determining the height of snow cover. The readings obtained from the new meteorological station will be presented in our Nature Chronicles and will provide a weather basis for studying the dynamics of the abiotic and biotic components of the "Khopersky" Nature Reserve.

Nature reserve, mountains and lake
Nature reserve, sea and mountains

Representative of the "Lenskiye stolby" National Park and the
"Medvezhji ostrova" State Nature Reserve

The Sokol-M weather station was purchased for scientific activities on the territory of our facilities in 2020. To date, the weather station is installed on the territory of the National Park "Lenskiye stolby" to collect meteorological data. The purchase and installation of the station greatly simplified the work of the park's employees. Before the installation of this station, natural and climatic data were collected manually every day, but today, all data, including those that are impossible to collect, such as wind strength, the amount of ultraviolet light, etc., are received every day in real time. The data obtained from the station are formed into a summary, which is used to create a bioecological monitoring system in the form of a traditional "Chronicle of Nature".

The conditions of the sharply continental climate of Yakutia and the remote location of the National Park "Lenskiye stolby" and the State Nature Reserve "Medvezhji ostrova " do not allow all technical means to work. One of the technical means that successfully implements its activities in such conditions is the Sokol-M weather station.

Representative of the "Escort" Group of Companies

The experience of operating our weather station in the territories of protected areas confirms that it is capable of 100% solving the tasks of environmental institutions.

In 2021, about 30 nature reserves and national parks intend to install the "Sokol-M".