Design and calibration of modular autonomous station for the measurement of soilmoisture and temperature conditions in vast point clusters (2011-2013)

Design and calibration of modular autonomous station for the measurement of soilmoisture and temperature conditions in vast point clusters


Project carried out in cooperation with Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, and the private company TOMST as a contractor of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic funding.


Measurement station in original version TMS1 installed at a site with Empetrum nigrum occurrence in Saxon Switzerland (Germany).


Team members (from the left J. Wild, M. Kopecký) controling the station permanently installed in the field.

Water and heat circulation are essential processes influencing the water management in the landscape which has a direct impact on human activities such as providing the population with water or protection from floods. They also present an important ecological factor determining the distribution of plant and animal species. Nevertheless, local climatic conditions often do not correspond to meso- or macroclimatic characteristics. Recent studies confirm an important variability in both average and extreme temperature values at fine spatial scale. Also the soil moisture that has a great importance for water drainage in the landscape shows a significant spatial variability hardly recordable using the existing measurement techniques.

Spatially detailed measurements of the temperature and soil moisture conditions enable a flexible decision-making or preparation for adverse hydrologic events using the hydrologic models calculating directly with soil moisture data. In connection with global climatic changes we can also observe local condition changes that are not easily predictable from global characteristics. Locally measured long-term temperature data significantly improve the prediction capacitiy of the models, e.g. the distribution of plant and animal species. These then make it possible to predict more precisely the reaction to climatic change and to adapt the human activities concerned.


Example of the graphical user interface of the software for visualization and anylsis of the data form TMS stations

Measurement of the temperature and moisture conditions with sufficient spatial detail requires cheap, easily installable, quickly substitutable and maintenance-free sensors that would store the obtained data and provide them upon request. The aim of the project is to improve the sensor designed by TOMST company so that the planned TMS3 version integrates sensors for soil and air temperature and moisture sensor based on the TDT method, to provide it with wireless data transfer and to test it in laboratory and real field conditions.

Institute of Botany (GIS an Remote Sensing Laboratory) is involved in designing the constructional solution and in testing of the prototype in laboratory conditions as well as during the long-term field measurements within diverse projects such as monitoring and modelling microclimatic conditions in the complex relief of a sandstone landscape or measurement of microhabitat conditions of selected plant species. At the same time software ViewTMS for visualization and analysis of large microclimatic datasets is being developed at the Institute.

So far development of TMS2 version of the sensor has been realized with increased resistance of all parts of the unit, increased memory and with the interface for the data transfer.

Jan Wild, Ph.D.
Phone: +420 271015278


Other team members (Martin Kopecký, Martin Macek, Jana Zmeškalová)