Since the company was founded in Utah, USA, in 1974, Campbell Scientific has established a reputation for reliable, power efficient data acquisition instrumentation. The company name has become synonymous with dataloggers with loggers such as the CR10X and its successors, the CR1000 and CR6, extensively used for field based measurement applications in areas as diverse as meteorology, hydrology, structural and geotechnical monitoring, vehicle testing and wind energy. These days, as well as the US, the company has offices in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, South Africa, Spain and South East Asia.
In 1975 Campbell Scientific launched its first digital chart recorder, the CR5, at the time a ground-breaking instrument because it was the first battery-operated measurement system that could perform time-averaged measurements from thermocouples, solar radiation sensors, and wind sensors requiring vector averaging.
These days Campbell Scientific offer a range of dataloggers which vary in the number and type of channels and programme scan rates but which all share certain functionality, namely they:
- Consume minimal power from a 12vdc source.
- Measure most makes and types of electronic sensor.
- Process and store data on-board.
- Can control external devices such as pumps, motors, alarms, and valves based on event or time.
- Will operate without mains power, field computer, or human interaction.
- Are fully programmable.
- Support multiple on-site or telecommunication options.
- Will perform reliably even in challenging environments.
A range of communication devices, channel and memory expansion units, software, associated peripherals and accessories extends the measurement capabilities of Campbell dataloggers.
Campbell Scientific also offer sensors, sensor interfaces and complete measurement systems. For example its range of laser based optical sensors such as the PWS100 Present Weather and Visibility Sensor. This uses patented technology to accurately measure the vertical velocity and size of hydrometeors and report the precipitation type (rain, snow, sleet etc.), the sensor also reports visibility. The CS120A Visibility Sensor offers high-end specification at a realistic price, reporting visibility to a maximum of 75km. The CS135 LIDAR Ceilometer is the latest optical sensor to be developed. This instrument, used for aircraft operations, uses a novel split lens design to measure cloud height for up to four cloud layers in the range 5m to 10km.
The Hydrosense II hand held, portable soil measurement system is another recent release. With integrated GPS the system can be used to average measurements across an area or measure and store multiple spot readings; data can be uploaded via Bluetooth and displayed using the supplied software or exported to Google Earth, GPX or CSV. Accurate measurement of soil moisture content provides valuable information for agriculture, wildfire protection, forestry and other applications.
Micrometeorologists use statistical analysis techniques such as Eddy Covariance to determine fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapour and other greenhouse gases above vegetation, ice, sea and urban environments to better understand how these gases contribute to climate change. Campbell Scientific have been active in providing micromet instrumentation for many years and continue to innovate with new and better products for this type of research – recently this has included the IRGASON and the CPEC200.
The Irgason combines an open path infra-red gas analyser (IRGA) with a 3D sonic anemometer to co-locate the measurement volume for gas and turbulence in a slimline aerodynamic device which minimises air flow disruption. A single electronic box control both sensors to reduce overall system power opening up the possibility of operating EC stations using solar panels thereby removing the need for diesel generators at, what are sometimes, sensitive sites; a combined electronics box also simplifies installation.
The CPEC200 is an integrated closed path Eddy Covariance system which co-locates a EC155 infra-red closed path gas analyser and CSAT3 3D sonic head, the system includes a shared electronic control unit, a CR3000 datalogger, pumps, tubes and software.
Renewable energy production requires accurate measurements and, particularly for wind and solar energy, Campbell Scientific supply measurement instrumentation such as that used on met masts for wind resource assessments and ongoing wind and weather measurements at turbine locations and systems like the Solar1000 to measure all the important parameters in solar energy.
In conclusion, since the company began back in the early 1970s, Campbell Scientific has grown into one of the world’s leading data acquisition instrumentation manufacturers with offices on every continent and a global network of distributors and specialist system integrators. It serves many markets where it’s product are predominantly used for field based measurements due to their reliability and low power consumption however systems are used in various laboratory and test bench applications too. The company continues to innovate with new products emerging virtually every month.