Vaisala WXT520: Weather station designed with monitoring systems in mind

By on May 21, 2013
Vaisala WXT20

The world’s weather is full of surprises. That makes a quality weather station a valuable piece of technology for monitoring systems.

Vaisala’s WXT520 multiparameter weather station is built with monitoring systems in mind. It monitors six weather parameters in real time, so users have the numbers on an unexpected rain storm or turbulent wind event.

It can be a means of understanding weather events that caused a flush of nitrogen into a river or low water levels in a lake.  What’s more, with the help of a data logger and telemetry system, it can deliver that information to one’s desk so she can stay dry and keep an eye on the data during a storm.

Three core components make up Vaisala’s WXT520 weather station.   Wind sensing transducers sit atop the unit, measuring wind speed and direction with ultrasonic sound waves.  They surround a rain gauge that measures each drop landing on its domed surface.  Inside a finned exterior, Vaisala’s PTU module measures pressure, temperature and humidity.

Jarmo Hietanen, Vaisala’s product manager for the WXT520, said that integration of six measurement parameters in one unit is the beauty of the weather transmitter. It makes field implementation fast and easy.

He said combining the sensors into a compact package was not an easy task. “The challenge came from combining a very sensitive sensor, the PTU module, and a powerful (wind sensing) transmitter in to very limited space,” he said.

The station can be mounted to a buoy mast, building or just about anywhere one can drill a hole to bolt the weather station through. Once installed, the unit is extremely low maintenance with no moving parts.

The weather station can be connected to a data logger via common communication interfaces, such as RS232, SDI-12, RS485 and USB.  Users must choose their mode of communication during their order so Vaisala workers can send a weather sensor with the correct connectors or flying leads.

“The WXT520 powers up with a wide operating voltage range and outputs serial data with a selectable communication protocol, making it easy to integrate with a data logger,” said Tero Muttilainen, a Vaisala product manager.

Muttilainen said there are several factors to consider when setting up a weather station to get the best performance.   Users should keep in mind power sources for the station, the climate it will see and telemetry options needed for communication and data collection.

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