In this interview, Chod Stephens, the product manager for the new EE181-L, tells us why this new sensor is ideal for Campbell Scientific customers with deployment sites in extreme environments. Chod is the Technical Product Manager for the Environmental Group at Campbell Scientific, Inc. He was interviewed by Robin Deissinger, the blog editor.
We are offering the EE181 as a solution for long-term, unattended applications that require a rugged, accurate air temperature and relative humidity sensor with outstanding long-term stability and reliability. The EE181 is ideal for customers needing a sensor with low power consumption for deployment sites that are located in extreme environments.
I’m excited about the EE181 for several reasons, but mainly because of how rugged it is. We expect that the EE181 will outlast many other temp/RH sensors on the market, meaning you won’t have to replace your sensors as frequently. This means less downtime and cost savings. The EE181’s proprietary coating on the RH element increases the life of the element and protects it from dirt, dust, salt, or other contaminants. This design makes it ideal for high humidity or marine environments. It took years of research to develop that proprietary coating, but now the EE181 is ready for deployment in your harshest environments—coastal, mountainous, corrosive, polluted, etc.
Another thing that I’m excited about, and hope our customers will be too, is that the EE181 is really easy to clean and maintain. You can just pull the EE181 out of the shield, remove the cap, and rinse the sensing elements in alcohol, followed by deionized water. Unlike a Teflon filter, the steel-mesh filter of the EE181 prevents the build-up of condensation on the sensor head. This allows the sensor to dry faster and prevents microbial growth.
The EE181 has undergone some of the most intense testing we have ever performed on a temperature/relative humidity sensor. Not only have we tested the EE181 in our in-house environmental chambers, but it has been field tested by installing it in extreme locations that are known to have destroyed other sensors rapidly. Some examples include the mountains of Bolivia, the volcanic and coastal regions of Hawaii, coastal areas of New Zealand, and the Eastern Seaboard of North America. This sensor has not only survived in these areas, but continues to make stable measurements—every day of every week of every month.
Because it’s so rugged, the EE181 requires very little maintenance or upkeep. This is the only RH sensor we sell (or know of) that instructs you to completely submerge the RH chip in alcohol and water to clean the sensing elements. This is a big deal. By the way, do NOT attempt to clean other sensors in this manner, as doing so will destroy them.
We sell a number of air temperature and relative humidity sensors, but the EE181 is special. It is a research-grade sensor that can be deployed almost anywhere and will last the length of long-term monitoring projects. You can rely on it to give you research-grade measurements in even the harshest conditions of your deployment site.
Section view of the EE181 probe inserted in the RAD10E shield
The EE181 sensor became available for ordering on December 7, 2016, along with the RAD10E radiation shield. The RAD10E is compatible with the EE181 sensor and complements its ruggedness and improved measurements with a double-louvered design that offers improved sensor protection and lower self-heating. All of these improvements are meant to improve sensor performance, accuracy, and longevity.
To ask Chod a question about the EE181, post a comment below.