Researchers from Université de La Réunion installed a Sunshine Pyranometer as part of a weather station on the crater’s edge of Piton de la Fournaise “Peak of the Furnace” volcano which lies on the south-eastern side of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The volcano is 530,000 years old and erupted as recently as May 26th 2016.
The volcano is constantly monitored by a range of geophysical sensors. Long-term monitoring by two downward-looking infra-red video cameras is now supplemented by an upward-looking SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer. Data from the SPN1 will be used to help eliminate the effect of solar radiation on the infra-red camera readings.
By installing monitoring stations (each including an SPN1 Pyranometer) at a number of locations around Reunion Island, the research team has been able to develop short-term forecasting (nowcasting) models - enabling the efficient regulation of the electricity grid.
The volcano weather station and SPN1 will remain in position for a full year - and its data will be compared with an identical station at the OVPF (volcano monitoring) main office in Bourg-Murat.