Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-29-2016

Publication Title

Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems

ISSN

2193-0856

Volume

5

First Page

451

Last Page

471

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/gi-5-451-2016

Abstract

The Niwot Ridge Subalpine Forest AmeriFlux
site (US-NR1) has been measuring eddy-covariance ecosystem
fluxes of carbon dioxide, heat, and water vapor since
1 November 1998. Throughout this 17-year period there have
been changes to the instrumentation and improvements to the
data acquisition system. Here, in Part 1 of this three-part series
of papers, we describe the hardware and software used
for data-collection and metadata documentation. We made
changes to the data acquisition system that aimed to reduce
the system complexity, increase redundancy, and be as independent
as possible from any network outages. Changes
to facilitate these improvements were (1) switching to a
PC/104-based computer running the National Center for Atmospheric
Research (NCAR) In-Situ Data Acquisition Software
(NIDAS) that saves the high-frequency data locally and
over the network, and (2) time-tagging individual 10 Hz serial
data samples using network time protocol (NTP) coupled
to a GPS-based clock, providing a network-independent, accurate
time base. Since making these improvements almost 2
years ago, the successful capture of high-rate data has been
better than 99.98 %. We also provide philosophical concepts
that shaped our design of the data system and are applicable
to many different types of environmental data collection.

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