NavCanada is undergoing a program to refresh the weather systems/stations across Canada. The program is split into four different categories:
– Ice Resistant Anemometers
– Remote Digital Temperature Sensors and Displays
– Digital Weather Cameras
NavCanada will be replacing approx 82 AWOS stations across the country with new equipment. This new equipment will contain the latest hardware in weather detection and reporting. This includes new ice resistant anemometers, along with RVR information. It will also be able to detect ceilings as high as 25,000′ with new laser celiometers.
One of the more interesting additions, is the Digital Weather Camera. Essentially it’s a webcam that will take photos of the area at 10 min intervals. You can use these photos to visually ascertain if the AWOS reports match actual conditions.
Work on this has already started and the first systems will be operational in the first quarter of 2009.
176 old style “cup-and-vane” anemometers will be replaced with heated sonic anemometers. These new anemometers are resistant to ice and snow and provide more detailed and accurate wind direction and speed. These new anemometers use sound waves to detect the movement if air. They are available in both 2-D (speed and direction) and 3-D (speed, direction, vertical movement) models. They use the principal that the speed of sound is always the same for a given temperature. However that speed changes based on the movement of air.
Using the three probes, the device is able to determine the wind direction as well. You can read more about the paritcular model I displayed in my last post at the Vaisala website.
More detailed information on what NavCanada is doing technology wise can be found on their website.
Congrats to “ytz tower” for getting the correct answer!