Since 1967 the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg operates a scientific, meteorological measuring site in Billwerder, a suburb of Hamburg, Germany. It is located on an area of the NDR (the North German Broadcasting Company) and consists of devices at a 300 m tall broadcasting mast as well as at our own 12 m mast nearby on a meadow. Additionally, several ground-based devices are installed outside the operator's hut beneath the tall mast. In 1994 completely new equipment was installed, since 1995 measurement runs continuously until today.
The Hamburg Weather Mast is located in Hamburg-Billwerder, about 8 km
south-east of the city centre.
The geographic coordinates of the tall mast are
53° 31' 09,0'' N and 10° 06' 10,3'' E,
and 53° 31' 11,7'' N and 10° 06' 18,5'' O
of the 12 m mast respectively.
The site is located 30 cm above German reference surface, so a device's
height above ground is nearly identical to its height above mean sea level.
The surroundings of the area are characterised by a mixture of agricultural land, fallow ground, spoil areas, and sparsely populated hamlets in the East, and industrial sites with mostly low buildings in the West.
The tall mast has six walkable platforms in height levels 50, 70, 110, 175, 250, and 280 m that can be accessed by a lift inside the mast. On each platform there is attached a south-oriented cantilever arm that holds the instruments. The distance between mast and instruments is nearly 6 m, the diameter of the mast is 2 m. Each platform, except that at 70 m, is equipped with the same instruments: A ventilated thermometer (Pt100) for measuring the air temperature, a (relative) humidity sensor (Humicap) and a 3d-ultra-sonic anemometer (METEK USAT-1) for wind speed and direction as well as turbulence quantities like heat flux and momentum flux (see below). On the 70 m level there is a thermometer only. On the 110 m level a dew point sensor (VTP6) is installed as a reference device.
The 12 m mast on the meadow holds the following devices: The instrumentation in the level at 10 m equals those ones on the platforms of the tall 300 m mast (temperature, humidity, wind, turbulence). In the height of 2 m temperature and humidity is measured, too. There is mounted an infra-red thermometer that "watches" the ground for measuring the surface temperature. On top of the 12 m mast there are two irradiation sensors for downward short-wave and long-wave irradiation from the upper hemisphere (Kipp & Zonen Pyranometer CM11 and Eppley Pyrgeometer PIR).
In 2000 the meteorological equipment on both masts was enhanced by five ultra-sonic anemometers/thermometers (USAT). They are mounted on top of the 12 m mast and on the platforms at 50, 110, 175, and 250 m. In the mid of 2010 we added a sixth USAT at the 280 m platform. These devices do not only measure wind speed and direction, but also the (virtual) temperature and the turbulent fluctuations of the three-dimensional wind vector. From these, amongst others the turbulent heat and momentum fluxes can be determined. Additionally, the fastest gust in each minute is determined out of the wind speed, that is measured with a 20 Hz sample rate. For that, we define the largest gust in a minute as the largest mean value over 3 seconds.
The ultra-sonic anemometers have replaced the prior used cup anemometers and wind vanes.
A transmitter unit of a szintillometer is mounted at the 50 m level headed to the Geomatikum where the receiver is located on the roof. Over this path-length of about 10 km the vertical turbulent heat flux is measured and, in addition, the crosswind, too.
A pressure sensor is located in the operator's hut (Vaisala PTB). Nearby there are devices for measuring clouds and precipitation.
The tipping bucket rain gauge registers the amount of rain based on a resolution of 0.1 mm. The gauge can be heated in winter, so snow can also be measured.
The duration of precipitation can be registered exactly by an infra-red rain sensor (IRSS 88), a photoelectric relay counting the rain drops falling through an aperture of 12 cm × 3 cm. For each minute this device gives a 1 in case of rain and a 0 otherwise.
In the mid of 2008 we mounted a micro rain radar (METEK MRR-2). This device measures the rain rate, the fluid water content and the falling velocity of the rain drops in steps of 35 m up to 1000 m.
A ceilometer determines the height of the cloud base by measuring the run duration of an infra-red laser beam reflected by fluid water in the atmosphere up to 7500 m.
All data is sampled by several computers inside the operator's hut. Most devices are queried once a second, but only averaged values are stored each minute. The ultra-sonic anemometers run on a sampling frequency of 20 Hz, the turbulent variables are calculated based on intervals of 1 and 5 minutes. The sampled data will be uploaded via DSL to our server in the Geomatikum every 15 minutes, where additional operations are made for creating the graphics on this website and storing the data in our archive.
The following tabular gives an overview over all height levels and measured variables. Alltogether there are about 30 independent measuring devices.
Variable/Device Height (m) -------------------------------------------------- Temperature 2 10 50 70 110 175 250 280 Relative humidity 2 10 50 110 175 250 280 Dew point 110 Wind and turbulence 10 50 110 175 250 280 Short-wave irradiation 12 Long-wave irradiation 12 Atmospheric pressure 2 Amount of rain 2 Duration of rain 1 Surface temperature 0 Height of cloud base 30 to 7500 Micro rain radar 35 to 1050 Scintillometer 50 Weather camera (webcam) 50Photos: Ingo Lange