Use LED Christmas lights to strobe falling snow and measure fall speed (LED is on for 1/30th of a second, length of streak times 1/30th is the fall speed.
Set up a pipe with a microphone in it, such that their is only a traveling wave component in the pipe. When the pipe entrance is oriented just right it will whistle when flow goes over it. Check to see if the frequency of the sound produced is related to the wind speed in a simple way. Think of how it sounds when wind sneaks in through a small opening in a door. This could perhaps be a way of measuring large amplitude winds that would otherwise cause grief to rotational detectors.
Use the doppler shift from falling hydrometeors (snow and ice particles) with ultrasound to measure vertical fall speeds for these. Also, perhaps align the detectors in a way to additionally get horizontal hydrometeor speed and direction. Will require working with optimal drive circuits for the ultrasonic transducers we have.
Use atmospheric soundings to calculate ray paths for sound in the atmosphere.
Set up the solar visible and UV irradiance detectors and take measurements with them.
Use the IR and visible wavelength radiometers from the UNR weather station to estimate the IR coming from clouds, and cloud amount as well as partly cloudiness fraction.
Use a digital camera attached to a simple diffraction grating and slit system to create a visible wavelength spectrometer.
Use the spectrometer for visible wavelength irradiance measurements. Calibrate it with sun photometer measurements.
Use the photoacoustic instruments for aerosol light scattering and absorption measurements of aerosol optics in the Reno air.
Use data from the DRI/UNR Cimel sunphotometer to measure aerosol optical depth and atmospheric radiation properties, cloud optical depth, fractional cloudiness.
Atmospheric Ion Detector.
Microbarometer for low frequency pressure fluctuations in the atmosphere, like atmospheric Tsunamis.
Use the MOTOROLA pressure sensors for ambient pressure measurements of the infrasound. SEE THE SPEC SHEET FOR THE MOTOROLA TRANSDUCER. Also useful for atmospheric tsunamis.
NO2 photolysis (scrub) with blue flashlight. Make a container to multiply reflect the light. Send in NO2 from the Tank. Check its concentration with photoacoustic cell.
Make an NO2 detector out of a simple 405 nm laser and photoacoustic cell.
Look at Fluorescence of NO2 as a detection means.
Make a 4 channel LED based albedo meter using the sun photometer boards. Teflon top. Sandwich. 8 channels out to computer for DAQ.
Get Radioshack soldering tools, hand operated, and use them to help in electonics. A portable battery powered version is available on line and in stores.
Calibrate the hand held wind devices with the ultrasonic anemometer. Make vicarious measurements of wind when needed.
Teflon ball actinic flux detector using LED's burrowed in for several wavelengths.
Make a lockin amplifier. Use it to measure the spectral response of LED's and Photodiodes, etc.
Develop the 16 bit a/d chip using the Armmite. Use it with the lockin amplifier. Here is the SPEC sheet for the 24 bit a/d chip. And here is the SPEC sheet for another through hole component a/d chip that looks easier to use.
Develop a photoacoustic detector for CH4 gas (and possibly for CO2 as well).
Max DOAS detection of atmospheric species using the spectrometer(s). UV using the sky radiation day time, cat eye across campus for night time.
Rotating pan demo for atmosphere. MIT paper from Laura.
Prepare for the CARES project by making sunphotometers and calibrating them well. Measure the reception spectrum of LED's as detectors (please someone pick this one :).
Use the sound card on the computer to do some great stuff with the labview VI.
Give reading and homework every week.
MAX-DOAS http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/doas/maxdoas_instrument.htm for trace gas detection using a spectrometer in the UV!
Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for materials determination, carbon soot, etc. http://www.libsresources.com/technology/index.asp
Construct an ALL SKY camera with a digital camera and time lapse software.
Estimate the Earth's albedo as a function of time for as long as possible using the existing temperature and carbon dioxide climate records.
Consider alternative energy: for example, work on a scheme to mine the CO2 in the atmosphere, use anaerobic bacteria to convert it to methane. Do both with kindness to ecology and energy use in mind.