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Automatic Weather Station or AWS as the name indicates refer to the automated version of a traditional weather station.
Its main motive is to enable remote measurements by saving human labor.
Real time reporting is done either through the Global Telecommunications System and Argos System or data is saved for later recovery.
Let us now take a look at some of the main components of an automatic weather station.
- Thermometer for measuring the temperature prevalent at photo voltaic panels. The efficiency of a thermometer drops down coupled with an increase in the temperature panel.
- Anemometer measures the wind velocity. This device has received its name from the Greek work Anemos meaning wind.
- Hygrometer measures the moisture or humidity content in air. Johann Lambert was the creator of the foremost successful hygrometer. Various types of hygrometers are available which can monitor alterations in various parameters such as capacitance, dew point and electrical resistance for gauging actual humidity.
- Wind or Weather Vane can provide you with adequate information regarding the direction of wind flow.
- Rain Gauge measures the quantum of rainfall at a particular location.
- Barometer can measure atmospheric pressure at a particular location for helping in efficient prediction of weather change.
- Pyranometer measures the level of solar radiation at a particular place. The bandwidth of measurement is decided on the basis of the type of pyranometer which might either be thermocouple or PV based.
- Telemetry gadgets transmit the recorded data at desired frequency to the desired locations.
- Data-Logger stands out as one of the most important components of an Automatic Weather Station. In many cases, the supplier exclusively designs the data-logger for sufficing the requirements of a specific meteorological client. The main functions of a data-logger are:
- Collecting information from all sensors and their corresponding archives.
- Processing of meteorological data for easy usability.
- Storing the entire data in an uSD memory card or its in-built memory.
- Managing the Automatic Weather Station’s power supply.
- Managing various communication protocols like GRPS, GSM, WiFi, RTC, RS232 and uSD along with the remote server
- Enclosures made up of stainless steel, ABS or weather proof fiberglass for acting as a boundary of its various components. While stainless steel or cast aluminium paint is the most durable, ABS is the cheapest.
- Power supply of an Automatic Weather Station is largely dependent on its usage metrics. Stations which cannot afford to invest in high-grade power equipment have to suffice their requirements with one or more solar panels hooked up in a parallel fashion with the regulator as well as one or more rechargeable batteries. The degree of solar output reaches its optimum level for just 5 hours in a day. A wind turbine can also be used in the place of solar panels for providing power during spans of poor sunlight.
- Mast having height of 2,3,10 or 30 meters. These heights are set standards for being used in different applications.
The automatic weather stations were previously placed in close proximity to communication and electricity lines.
Coming to modern times, the combined forces of mobile phone technology, wind turbine and solar panel have paved the path for wireless stations which do not require connection with the hard-line telecom network or electrical grid.