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Version: 2
File Size: 460kb
Updated: 11-12-2019


Campbell Scientific has introduced a new operating system, OS2 for the SkyVue 8 ceilometer. It is fully backwards compatible. OS2 is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the Campbell Scientific website or supplied by email on request.

Upgrade to OS2 is recommended.


OS2 has introduced improvements to optical overlap functions, cloud detection filters and the filter thresholds to reduce false cloud detection at low to medium heights notably up to about 1,000m.

OS2 has increased performance in estimating low level vertical visibility particularly from the ground to 50m.

An option “cloudMode A“ has been added to only report the highest cloud seen during precipitation events. This has been added to further minimise the reporting of rain as low cloud. 

OS2 has a new command “application n”, which allows the user to select the recommended, optimum settings for specific applications, including Aviation, Research, Air Quality and Meteorology.  In addition, you can specify you own user defaults or select the original default settings for all settings as defined in OS1. OS2 is pre-configured for Aviation use in newly purchased SkyVue 8 sensors or when OS2 is loaded onto a SkyVue 8 running OS1. Individual user settings remain adjustable for further optimisation by the user and for use in other applications.

There is a new option to allow the user to select whether backscatter rolling averages are calculated as mean or median values. The median option is new and is more effective at removing transient signals caused by birds and insects. A new parameter has been added in the BS command to permit users to select either option. Other commands affected include “getuser” and “setuser”.

A “mainsFail” flag has been added to the output messages to indicate failure of mains power whilst operating on the backup battery.

OS2 has introduced a global ID (address) of “99” to permit users to connect to the instrument over a serial connection, if the ID is unknown.

A command “loados” has been added to make it easier to load a full new operating system. The selection of specific individual board operating systems, DSP, TOP and PSU, can still be performed and “loados 4” will continue to function, as in previous OS versions.

OS2 now has a wider range of height offsets to allow greater correction of the height of the sensor than previous OS versions.


OS2 includes changes to Sky Condition to improve weighted average cloud heights and prevent the small possibility for arithmetic overflow which may result in a spurious layer being reported.

OS2 also includes improved backscatter filtering to reduce the possibility of noise banding when observed with Viewpoint.