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Keywords:

  • digital surface model;
  • lidar;
  • sun angles;
  • site selection

ABSTRACT

Meteorological measurements within urban areas are becoming increasingly important due to the accentuating effects of climate change upon the Urban Heat Island (UHI). However, ensuring that such measurements are representative of the local area is often difficult due to the diversity of the urban environment. The evaluation of sites is important for both new sites and for the relocation of established sites to ensure that long term changes in the meteorological and climatological conditions continue to be faithfully recorded. Site selection is traditionally carried out in the field using both local knowledge and visual inspection. This paper exploits and assesses the use of lidar-derived digital surface models (DSMs) to quantitatively aid the site selection process. This is acheived by combining the DSM with a solar model, first to generate spatial maps of sky view factors and sun-hour potential and second, to generate site-specific views of the horizon. The results show that such a technique is a useful first-step approach to identify key sites that may be further evaluated for the location of meteorological stations within urban areas.