Weather Monitoring: Multi-Parameter Sensor

By on August 16, 2010


The demand for accurate and reliable weather monitoring data extends beyond professional meteorologists. Increasingly, numerous businesses need to monitor the weather, although this need may not be their central function. After devoting years of research to meet the demand for easy-to-use, easy-to-access, and accurate weather data, Vaisala has developed the WXT520, a compact, state-of-the-art multi-parameter weather transmitter at an affordable price.

The WXT520 measures the six most essential weather parameters: wind speed and direction, liquid precipitation (rainfall, intensity, and duration), barometric pressure, air temperature, and relative humidity, all in one compact, lightweight instrument.Vaisala WXT520 Multi-Parameter Weather Sensor

Designed for easy setup in an automated weather monitoring system, it needs minimal effort for installation, integration, and maintenance. The WXT520 is readily integrated with NexSens data logging and telemetry systems. This provides users with automatic data collection and the option of real-time data posting through the Internet.

Wind speed and direction are measured ultrasonically with Vaisala’s advanced WINDCAP sensor. In order to ensure accurate wind measurement in all directions, without blind angles or corrupted readings, the sensor design utilizes an array of three equally spaced ultrasonic transducers in a horizontal plane. The WINDCAP sensor eliminates nearly all problems common to mechanical sensors, such as damage and wear of moving parts, slow response times, and the inability to detect wind speed below threshold levels.

Rainfall, intensity, and duration are measured with the Vaisala RAINCAP sensor, which is the only maintenance-free precipitation sensor on the market. This sensor detects the impact of raindrops. The impacts exert signals that are proportional to the volume of the drops. The RAINCAP converts the signal from each drop into rainfall, intensity, and duration. Due to this measurement method, problems common to traditional precipitation gauges, such as flooding, clogging, wetting, and evaporation losses, are eliminated. The RAINCAP sensor can even distinguish different types of precipitation such as hail.

Barometric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity sensors are housed in a ventilated chamber. These sensors rely on Vaisala’s proven technology and experience, and provide highly accurate and stable readings for two years without any required maintenance. The unit is easy to remove for calibration, or replacement if needed.

All sensors within the WXT520 are calibrated at the Vaisala factory. After assembly, the WXT520 needs to be mounted, aligned, and connected to a data logger and power source. Mounting is made easy with a one-bolt mounting method. In addition to the easy and fast installation, operation of the WXT520 requires minimal power, and consumes only 0.1 mA during the idle mode.

To learn more about this weather monitoring sensor and other weather sensors, call a Fondriest Environmental product specialist at 888.426.2151 or email

Image Credit: / CC BY 2.0

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