Solar-tracking radiometry for all: PML publishes open-source hardware and software for the So-Rad

02 February 2021

One of the best ways to increase the volume of useful water-leaving reflectance observations is to mount radiometers on a turning platform. Thus far only experimental and closed-source commercial solutions existed, neither of which were sufficient to achieve the ambition of delivering continuous, quality controlled satellite validation data around the world.

With the solar-tracking radiometry platform (So-Rad), MONOCLE provides owners of commercially available radiometers the possibility to upgrade fixed-angle systems. A step-by-step build guide with is now available to download. The build guide includes hardware and software components including CAD diagrams for both electronics and machining. All materials are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial license.
Some key features of the So-Rad include:
  • Low power consumption (15W)
  • Viewing angle adjustment for solar position and platform heading, suitable for ships and (large) buoys
  • Tilt/pitch/roll monitoring
  • Local data buffering for fully autonomous operation
  • Configurable operating range for viewing angle, solar elevation, and measurement intervals: no  need to collect data under suboptimal conditions
  • Control software written in Python 3, modular design to extend e.g. additional sensor support
  • Local (WiFi) and remote (LTE) monitoring

Related information and links

Download the So-Rad Construction Guide 

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