High density temperature measurements within the urban environment (HiTemp)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography, Earth & Env Sciences

Abstract

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is a direct consequence of anthropogenic influences on our local climate. Many studies have been devoted to the study of UHI extent and magnitude, as well as the impacts increased urban temperatures have on meteorology, climatology, human health and society. Although the UHI phenomenon is well documented and studies have increased our understanding, the basic measurement of temperatures across urban areas remains very limited. Birmingham is the UK's second most populous city, with a population in excess of 1 million people and a well defined UHI. However, Birmingham has only two climate stations which when linked with the complex heterogeneous urban morphology results in extremely poor data coverage. The overall aim of this project is to provide a demonstration sensor network designed to measure air temperature across the Birmingham conurbation. This aim will be met by the following objectives: 1. Instrument Birmingham via nested arrays of sensors comprising of the following: a Coarse array of 29 weather stations across Birmingham located in secure primary electrical substations b Wide area array consisting of 131 Wi-Fi air and humidity sensors located at schools across the conurbation (1 per ONS Super Output Area) c Fine scale array covering the Central Business District and consisting of approx. 50 sensors per square kilometre 2. Analyse, process and make available the data sets to the user community. Data will be made available for analysis on web-based GIS platforms to inform decision-makers and the wider user community including schools and colleges. 3. To instigate knowledge exchange with industry and decision-makers. The proposed sensor network would provide an unparalleled data set that would benefit many users including project partners. Users are at the heart of this proposal. Academic investigators on this project already have two established Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with project partners who will directly benefit form the data collected during this project: 1. KTP with EON Central Networks to investigate power-grid/temperature dependency in Birmingham (TSB/NERC funded) 2. KTP with Birmingham City Council to investigate environmental risk (e.g. Urban Heat and Flooding) at a neighbourhood scale (TSB/NERC funded) Both these partners are committed to this project and are crucial to the success of establishing the network. EON Central Networks will provide access to the secure sites across the conurbation where as Birmingham City Council will be instrumental in the installation of the sensors on council owned lighting columns. The majority of the equipment will also be procured from project partners on specially negotiated deals. The University has recently completed a KTP with Campbell Scientific Ltd who will be responsible for the coarse array of weather stations where as Aginova Inc. are the technical partners responsible for the Wi-Fi sensors. This is an ambitious project which seeks to provide three different sensor networks at three different scales. A unique selling point of this proposal is the strengthening of already mature partnerships, where as collaboration with SI-KTN will further ensure future engagement activities with new partners. In summary, data from this project will be instrumental in answering key research questions currently under investigation such as what is the impact of the current and future climate on the people and infrastructure of a major conurbation.
 
Description We have instrumented an urban area to measure temperature at an unprecedented scale. This data can be used to manage our cities so that the function more effectively in heatwaves.

We have learnt how new low cost technologies can be used to monitor the weather and climate. The technologies developed on this project are already contributing to making our cities 'smarter' and we are now working on a number of spin-out projects which will make our roads, railways and electricty networks resilient to weather and climate.
Exploitation Route The low cost sensing developed is already being picked up by industry and can be used for any application which requires a dense low cost sensor network.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Transport
URL http://www.bucl.org.uk
 
Description Research continues to use the data and we have received an award from NERC to continue expanding the network (NE/N003195/1). Fundamentally, the work from this grant combined with a KTP and a CASE award with Birmingham City Council resulted in a strong REF2014 Impact Case Study. This was used by NERC in the 2015 Impact Report.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services
 
Description Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory
Amount £1,800 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Meteorological Society 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2014 
End 10/2015
 
Description Demonstrating the potential of the IoT in winter road maintenance
Amount £208,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L02375X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description NERC Standard Grant
Amount £659,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N003195/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description RMetS Legacies Fund
Amount £1,800 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Meteorological Society 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2015
 
Description Standard Grant
Amount £661,185 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N003195/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 11/2018
 
Description Sustainable Urban Meteorological Networks (SUMNs): Managing the legacy of the Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory
Amount £13,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 07/2013 
End 09/2013
 
Description TSB Internet of Things Demonstrator: Demonstrating the Internet of School Things - A National Collaborative Experience
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 1210_PROC_DIG_IOT2_185231 
Organisation Technology Strategy Board (TSB) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description TSB Internet of Things Demonstrator: Smart Streets
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 1210_PROC_DIG_IOT2_185231 
Organisation Technology Strategy Board (TSB) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Title Data 
Description All data is freely available on the BADC 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Users from around the world have requested data 
 
Title SUEWS 
Description Urban Energy and Water balance scheme (note current version pre-2006) New version named SUEWS since 2011 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use for modelling urban energy and water exchanges at the neighbourhood scale. Being used in a number of contexts and locations for water sensitive urban design. It is also linked to models for human comfort. 
URL http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/micromet/lumps-suews-fraise/
 
Description Aginova 
Organisation Aginova
Country United States of America 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have worked together extensively to develop sensors. We have advised on how Aginova's products can be modified for weather monitoring (e.g. the air temperature sensor used on HiTemp)
Collaborator Contribution Access to their product range for modification.
Impact Loads of potential for future colloboration but this will be subject to follow on funding to develop commercial systems.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Amey 
Organisation Amey
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Amey operate a wide area wi-fi network and we have tested our Internet of Things sensors on this network. This has led to subsequent co-created research. For example, we have just completed a flagship project with Hampshire County Council working with Amey which has seen a large deployment of sensors for winter road maintenance purposes.
Collaborator Contribution Access to city-wide wi-fi infrastructure
Impact Co-created EPSRC grant investigated an Internet of Things solution based on the technology developed on HiTemp.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Birmingham City Council 
Organisation Birmingham City Council
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Climate data for the city of Birmingham.
Collaborator Contribution Ongoing NERC CASE award and previous KTP.
Impact Ongoing work resulted in a REF2014 Impact Case Study, picked up and featured in the NERC Impact Report 2015
 
Description UK Met Office 
Organisation Met Office
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Confidential.
Collaborator Contribution Numerous but includes supplying access to calibration facilities at Head Office and contributions to further grants. For example, the Met Office have been involved in the wintersense project where sensors have been used at a problematic forecast location to validate a new model.
Impact Co-created grant from the Railway Safety & Standards Board to transfer technology developed on NERC & EPSRC grants.
Start Year 2010
 
Description A talk at CIBSE Overcoming obstacles to high density resilient cities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The talk at the CIBSE Overcoming obstacles to high density resilient cities workshop prompted discussion about how a lack of data in urban areas can be overcome. It was debated by the 60 attendees and resulted in a number of follow up discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cities and Vegetation: impact on heat, water and carbon excahnges, Wageningen University, Netherlands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Interaction with PhD students


A number of students continued to interact across a range of research areas
Interest in our models
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Cities today and in the future: Applications and challenges in urban climatology. Kuehnast Endowment Lecture 20 th Anniversary, University of Minnesota, USA 8 November 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interest from a number of the public about urban climate/atmospheric processes

Invited to give other talks to students (declined as not at a time I could travel)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/kuehnast_lecture/
 
Description Invited talk at the NVBM 25th Anniversary Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of work to an audience consisting of over 50 academics and practitioners from across the Netherlands. Has led to a further invite to work together on a follow up project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Micrometeorology: Benefits to society from its numerous applications Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, China Meteorological Adminstration Shanghai 23 July 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussed interpretation of ongoing measurements
Discussion of future applications and needs

Made me start to think of wider applications/needs for urban meteorological data
Encouraged me to apply for Met Office funding for Climate Services
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Observing London: Weather data needed for London to thrive, Retrofitting homes for a future climate: emerging trends from recent industry surveys on climate change adaptation, Wednesday 24th April 2013 King's College London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cross-disciplinary discussion of urban climate in a very broad sense
Applications of research to users

Wide range of interdisciplinary discussions
Informed about user needs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Radio Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Catherine Muller has also been interviewed about the HiTemp project on The BBC Paul Hudson Weather Show, BBC WM as well as a NERC Planet Earth podcast

No recognised impacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/multimedia/story.aspx?id=1252
 
Description Relevance of Vegetation to Urban Surface-Atmosphere Exchanges: Current Needs and Challenges in Urban Meteorology, Urban Symposium, Finish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland, 14 May 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Detailed discussion about research activities

They published a number of connected research papers
We have plan other research activities
There have been a number of research visits to the UK (KCL, Reading)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://urban.fmi.fi/workshops.html
 
Description School Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Informal HiTemp outreach with 150+ schools (since June 2011 onwards) which takes place with the teacher when the BUCL team go out to assess their site for location of air temperature sensors (e.g. discussion about research project with teachers, demo of BUCL website)

Hot Cities worked with 5 schools.

The spinout DISTANCE project is offered every school in the UK the ability to measure and share data by creating an information hub in the cloud using an open-source and infinitely scalable application platform. The role of the HiTemp team in this project was to make BUCL data available (in an interoperable form) and assist with its integration into themes such as transport, energy, weather and health. Partners include Intel, Xively, Open University, CASA UCL, the geography collective and ScienceScope. As part of this, six lessons were delivered at The Blue Coat School, Birmingham (for 80 students) and several workshops were held with teachers from The Blue Coat School, Birmingham; Alder Grange Community and Technology College, Rawtenstall, Lancashire; Horringer Court Middle School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; East Barnet School, Barnet, London; Hayesfield Girls School, Bath; Kings School, Peterborough; North Liverpool Academy, Liverpool; Writhlington School, Bath and NE Somerset. At these workshops data from BUCL was utilised. Dashboards and visualisations have also been developed for use by schools to show data online.

Impacts are difficult to qunatify, but as is clearthe interest kept growing in the projects to unsustainable levels!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Somerset House: Contrasting studies of urban climatology in the 19th and 21st Century Royal Meteorological Society National Wednesday Meeting, Classic Papers Meeting On Urban Meteorology, University Of Reading, 21 November 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Discussion

Awareness of the long term link of Sommerset house to research activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.rmets.org/events/hot-city-advances-urban-meteorology-measurement-and-modelling
 
Description The importance of Vegetation on Urban Surface-Atmosphere Exchanges: Evidence from measurements and modelling, Meteorologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg, Germany, 17 November 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talked to a range of different researchers

Discussed research activities
Invited people to participate in other activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Urban Meteorological Observations: New approaches Workshop on urban rainfall and air quality. Institute Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China 12 March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discuss research plans


Develop research proposal

http://www.cma.gov.cn/en2014/news/News/201408/t20140812_256160.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ium.cn/en/
 
Description Urban Meteorology Activities At King's College London, Met Office, Exeter, 22 January 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussed ongoing measurements and modelling in London

Initiated research linkages - including model testing using ongoing measurements
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Urban Meteorology: Support for Urban Environmental Problems from City to Person Scales, Shanghai Meteorological Service, Shanghai, China 20 May 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion of activities relative to Shanghai/China

Awareness of different approaches and challenges
Interpretationand and informed of other activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Urban meteorology and climatology: Some features & needs, Vaisala, Helsinki, Finland, 16 May 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion with instrument manufacturer
Informed and discussed new instruments they are considering developing

Ongoing contact with the company at a variety of levels.
Helped with trying to sort out some issue with ceilometer data processing
Invited to participate in a number of activities internationally by the Chief Scientific Officer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Urban meteorology: Support for Future Urban Environmental Challenges, Risk Management Solutions, London, 5 June 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion of common research interests

Preparation of a case-studentship application (that has been funded)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013