UCSD Sky Imager Cloud Position Study

11 March 2013 - 23 October 2013

Lead Scientist: Bryan Urquhart

Observatory: sgp, sgp

University of California, San Diego will deploy Sky Imaging systems collocated near the equipment used in the ARSCL data products. High resolution imagery data from cameras in these systems will be collected every 30 seconds during daylight hours. The use of novel computer vision stereography techniques will be employed to compute the cloud base height for the region between the instruments, and, to the extent that it is possible, outside the instrument areas within an acceptable perimeter. This will be validated by ARSCL data and ceilometer data.

The purpose of this study is to improve short-term solar power forecasting algorithms which use the imagery as input. The positional information of the cloud field is incredibly important in this process, and improving the accuracy of our capabilities will significantly improve forecast results. The better the forecast, the more confident solar plant operators and future solar plant investors will be in ability to operate the plants effectively. This will in turn help to improve the development of the solar power industry around the world. Future work will involve combining the output from this instrument with other instruments to help improve overall cloud field positional information, which can then be input to 3D radiative transfer models for testing and validation.


Jan Kleissl
Dung Nguyen



Urquhart B, B Kurtz, and J Kleissl. 2016. "Sky camera geometric calibration using solar observations." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 9(9), 10.5194/amt-9-4279-2016.

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Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Jan Kleissl Sky Imager Order Data