Rainfall simulators have a long history of successful use in both laboratory and field investigations. Many plot–scale simulators, however, have been difficult to operate and transport in the field, especially in remote locations where water or electricity is unavailable. This article describes a new rainfall simulator that is relatively easy to operate and transport to and from the field while maintaining critical intensity, distribution, and energy characteristics of natural rainfall. The simulator frame is constructed from lightweight aluminum pipe with a single 50 WSQ nozzle centered at a height of 3 m (9.8 ft). An operating nozzle pressure of 28 kPa (4.1 psi) yields continuous flow at an intensity of 70 mm h-1 (2.8 in. h-1 ) over a 1.5– x 2–m (4.9– x 6.6–ft) plot area with a coefficient of uniformity of 93%. Kinetic energy of the rainfall is about 25 J m-2 mm-1 (142.8 ft–lb ft-2 in.-1), approximately 87% of natural rainfall. The simulator can be easily transported by two field personnel and completely assembled or disassembled in approximately 10 min. Water usage is at a minimum as the simulator utilizes only one nozzle.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Humphry, J. Byron; Daniel, Tommy C.; Edwards, Dwayne R.; and Sharpley, Andrew N., "A Portable Rainfall Simulator for Plot–Scale Runoff Studies" (2002). Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Faculty Publications. 53.