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First Routine Inspection and Maintenance of Field Stations in Central Asia Completed after the Pandemic


The first routine inspection and maintenance of the field scientific observation and research stations in Central Asia after the COVID-19 pandemic were completed from 14 April to 16 May 2023. The engineers, Junfeng Zhang and Dongyang Pan, from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Research Center for Ecology and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RCEECA) carried out the maintenance task for eight field stations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

RCEECA contains in total 19 field scientific observation and research stations, covering the major types of ecosystems, e.g. steppe, mountain, desert, forest, in Central Asia. It forms a large network of observations that monitor wind speed, air temperature, humidity, precipitation, solar radiation, soil quality, carbon dioxide fluxes, trace gases and many other indicators. To ensure the regular function of the equipment and the quality of the collection data, technical inspections and equipment maintenance were implemented for three stations in Kazakhstan, three stations in Uzbekistan and two stations in Tajikistan. The main work performed included a comprehensive and systematic check of the power supply system, sensor measurements and data storage. Technical issues affecting the regular operation of the field stations were resolved through the upgrades of equipment and software.

In addition, for the first time in the maintenance process, a remote communication technique, i.e. Beidou digital transmission, has been introduced, to keep track of the equipment's operation on a 24/7 scale. Due to the epidemic, on-site maintenance was not implemented at the field stations in Central Asia for a long period. The maintenance was faced with difficulties involving the loss and bulging of batteries and damage to sensor equipment. The engineers arrived on site to replace and fix the system faults, ensuring the normal operation of the equipment and the integrity and accuracy of the observation data.

Both at the sub-centers of Almaty and Dushanbe, data servers were maintained which allows real-time online viewing of data. At the final stage of the maintenance task, to improve operation and maintenance techniques, technical training was conducted for the staff in centers to enhance the daily maintenance of the field stations in the future.

Integrated Observatory Maintenance at Dangara field station in Tajikistan (Image by Fang Hui, Zhang Junfeng)

Integrated Observatory Maintenance at Bukhara field station in Uzbekistan (Image by Zhang Junfeng)

Integrated Observatory Maintenance at Shuchinsk field station in Kazakhstan (Image by Pan Dongyang)


Contact: LIU Jie, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography

E-mail: liujie@ms.xjb.ac.cn