• Automated Rainout Shelter for Controlled Water Research

      Ries, R. E.; Zachmeier, L. G. (Society for Range Management, 1985-07-01)
      An automated rainout shelter was constructed at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan, N. Dak., for use in conducting controlled water research to gain a better understanding of soil-plant-water relationships. The design and construction criteria were developed to accommodate many components that were commercially available. The primary components are: (1) foundation, (2) steel I-beam rail, (3) roller mechanism, (4) rainout shelter structure, (5) drive mechanism, (6) electrical control system, and (7) irrigation system. Wind, temperature, and precipitation sensors activate movement of the shelter to cover a plot area 11.5 × 30.3 m (38 × 100 ft), resulting in a modification of the selected environmental conditions. After inactivation of the sensors and a time delay, the rainout shelter automatically returns to its rest position, ready to repeat its cycle when the sensors are reactivated.