Weather Instruments Information
Weather instruments are designed to measure one or multiple components of weather including wind speed and direction, rain or snow fall, solar radiation, temperature, pressure and humidity. In some cases, these instruments are designed for incorporation into a weather station arrangement and can be mounted on a pole or base and remotely monitored. In other cases, these are individual sensors or instruments that can measure one aspect of weather. In all cases, the instruments and sensors are designed for environmental type applications, and often housings are ruggedized for these applications.
Output options for weather instruments can include analog voltage, analog current, frequency or pulse signal and switch or alarm. These instruments can be connected to computers via serial, parallel, or other digital means for signal acquisition. Some models even have built-in modems and thus can act as event-triggered devices or can be programmed remotely in some cases. They can have local or remote analog, digital or video style displays. The user interfaces on weather instruments can be analog front panel type controls with switches, dials, potentiometers, etc.; digital interfaces with keypads, buttons and menus; or controlled by a remote computer with the same interfaces stated above.
Depending on the application the weather instruments are being used for, size and weight may be big constraints and should be examined carefully.
For very cold applications, some weather instruments come with an antifreeze reservoir for the instrument to sit in so that it does not completely freeze and stop functioning. Another method of battling the cold is to have a model with an integral heater. Heating the instrument this way is sure to run down batteries much quicker if a battery-powered model is being used. To adjust level and tilt, some weather instruments have a mechanical leveling fixture. Other common features are data logging or storage capability, programmability, built-in alarm and integral chart recorder.