Web Based Wind Monitoring (Spring 2001) IPRO 330
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This project will investigate the technical, legal and economic issues associated with designing, building, installing and operating a wind speed/direction monitoring station on the lakefront that provides real-time data to a web site for convenient access by wind surfer enthusiasts, sailors and others. A need has been identified among the wind surfer enthusiasts in the Chicago area for improved information about wind conditions at selectedlocations along the Lake Michigan shore that are popular sites for wind surfing as well as sailing. General information about wind speed and direction is available today from the National Weather Service, but unfortunately it is not sufficiently localized or up-to-date to provide a reliable indication of existing conditions or trends. Access to highly reliable and more accurate predictive information at a specific location is important to wind surfers, because there is considerable wasted time and effort associated with traveling to a wind surfing location, only to find that the conditions are not acceptable. The team will explore the feasibility of designing, installing and operating a wind monitoring station at a location along the lakefront. An initial task may be to investigate any related installations around the country that monitor local conditions and present it in real time on the web. This project involves mechanical and electrical design, as well as control software and web site development. The project work extends beyond the technical in order to address the range of practical issues that must be addressed to make it happen. This includes investigating the legal (liability), regulatory (permitting), aesthetic (ordinances), economic (installation, maintenance), safety, security, public relations and marketing issues. This project is a continuation of a Fall 2001 project that has been making progress in developing a prototype.