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ISO 19289

1st Edition, March 1, 2015

Complete Document

Air quality - Meteorology - Siting classifications for surface observing stations on land

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Description / Abstract:

This International Standard indicates exposure rules for various sensors, but what should be done when these conditions are not fulfilled? There are sites that do not respect the recommended exposure rules. Consequently, a classification has been established to help determine the given site's representativeness on a small scale (impact of the surrounding environment). Hence, a class 1 site can be considered as a reference site. A class 5 site is a site where nearby obstacles create an inappropriate environment for a meteorological measurement that is intended to be representative of a wide area (at least tens of km2). The smaller the siting class, the higher the representativeness of the measurement for a wide area. In a perfect world, all sites would be in class 1 but the real world is not perfect and some compromises are necessary. A site with a poor class number (large number) can still be valuable for a specific application needing a measurement in this particular site, including its local obstacles.

The classification process helps the actors and managers of a network to better take into consideration the exposure rules and thus it often improves the siting. At least, the siting environment is known and documented in the metadata. It is obviously possible and recommended to fully document the site but the risk is that a fully documented site might increase the complexity of the metadata, which would often restrict their operational use. That is why this siting classification is defined to condense the information and facilitate the operational use of this metadata information.

A site as a whole has no single classification number. Each parameter being measured at a site has its own class and is sometimes different from the others. If a global classification of a site is required, the maximum value of the parameters' classes can be used. The rating of each site should be reviewed periodically as environmental circumstances can change over a period of time. A systematic yearly visual check is recommended: if some aspects of the environment have changed, a new classification process is necessary. A complete update of the site classes should be done at least every five years.

In this International Standard, the classification is (occasionally) completed with an estimated uncertainty due to siting, which has to be added in the uncertainty budget of the measurement. This estimation is coming from bibliographic studies and/or some comparative tests.

The primary objective of this classification is to document the presence of obstacles close to the measurement site. Therefore, natural relief of the landscape may not be taken into account, if far away (i.e. >1 km). A method to judge if the relief is representative of the surrounding area is the following: Does a move of the station by 500 m change the class obtained? If the answer is no, the relief is a natural characteristic of the area and is not taken into account.

Complex terrain or urban areas generally lead to high class numbers. In such cases, an additional flag "S" can be added to class numbers 4 or 5 to indicate specific environment or application (i.e. 4S).
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