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Record Search Query: [Science_Parameters: Science_Category='EARTH SCIENCE', Science_Topic='LAND SURFACE', Science_Term='SOILS']

Solar Calc: Estimating Hourly Incoming Solar Radiation from Limited Meteorological Data
Entry ID: USDA_ARS_SolarCalc
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Summary
Abstract: Two major properties which determine weed seed germination are soil temperature
and moisture content. Incident radiation is the primary variable controlling
energy input to the soil system and thereby influences both moisture and
temperature profiles. However, a majority of agricultural field sites lack
proper instrumentation to measure solar radiation directly. To overcome this
shortcoming, an empirical model was developed to estimate total incident solar
radiation (beam and diffuse) with hourly time steps.

Input parameters for the model are latitude, longitude, and elevation of the
field site, along with daily precipitation (mm) with daily minimum and maximum
air temperatures (degrees C). The file format for this weather data file is a
comma spaced value file (CSV) with the following format:

DOY, MIN, MAX, PREC

Where DOY is day of year, MIN is the minimum air temperature, MAX is the
maximum air temperature, and PREC is the total daily rainfall. Each day has a
separate line in the file. Field validation of this model was conducted at a
total of 18 sites, where sufficient meteorological data were available for
validation, allowing a total of 42 individual yearly comparisons.

The model performed well, with an average Pearson correlation of 0.92, d-index
of 0.95, modeling efficiency of 0.80, root mean square error of 111 W m-2, and
a mean absolute error of 56 W m-2. These results compare favorably to other
developed empirical solar radiation models, but with the advantage of
predicting hourly solar radiation for the entire year based on limited climatic
data and no site-specific calibration requirement. This solar radiation
prediction tool can be integrated into dormancy, germination and growth models
to improve microclimate-based simulation of development of weeds and other
plants.

[Summary provided by the USDA.]

Related URL
Link: GET SERVICE > GET SOFTWARE PACKAGE
Description: Download form to access the Solar Calc model.
Service Citation
Originators: USDA Agricultural Research Service
Title: Solar Calc: Estimating Hourly Incoming Solar Radiation from Limited Meteorological Data
Provider: USDA Agricultural Research Service
URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/services/software/download.htm?softwareid=62
ISO Topic Category
FARMING
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE
ECONOMY
ENVIRONMENT
GEOSCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
Quality
The USDA-ARS makes no warranties as to the merchantability or fitness of
SolarCalc 1.0 for any particular purpose, or any other warranties expressed or
implied. Since some portions of SolarCalc 1.0 have been validated with only
limited data sets, it should not be used to make operational management
decisions. The USDA-ARS is not liable for any damages resulting from the use or
misuse of SolarCalc 1.0, its output and its accompanying documentation.
Access Constraints
Users must complete a registration form in order to download software.
Use Constraints
SolarCalc was written in Java, and therefore can run on multiple platforms
(e.g. Windows, Mac, Unix).
Service Provider
Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture

Service Provider Personnel
Name: USDA-ARS
Phone: 254-770-6500
Fax: 254-770-6561
Contact Address:
USDA-ARS
Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory
808 E. Blackland Rd.
City: Temple
Province or State: TX
Postal Code: 76502
Country: USA
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: Online
Fees: No fees
Personnel
USDA-ARS
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: 254-770-6500
Fax: 254-770-6561
Contact Address:
USDA-ARS
Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory
808 E. Blackland Rd.
City: Temple
Province or State: TX
Postal Code: 76502
Country: USA

TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: SERF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 2007-04-10
SERF Last Revision Date: 2012-04-24
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Last Updated:  April 2014