Friday, August 30, 2013

Meteorological Instruments used in Airports

This post is dedicated to my dear friend and colleague, Mr. Faisal Mallick, Sr. System Engineer, ICAD. He is responsible for the Meteorological Instruments going to be installed in King Abdulaziz International Airport. Recently we had a talk about these instruments/equipment and the important role it plays in airport environment.  

Technically, Meteorological Instruments are the equipment used to sample the state of the atmosphere at a given time. The equipment vary in type and numbers according to airport size and operation. Meteorological Instrument do more than just observe weather. Without these instruments it will be impossible for 50,000 aircraft around the world to land safely. These are the vital back-stage hard-workers of airport.

In aviation world; wind speed, wind direction, pressure, temperature, humidity, noise level and air quality are all information without which the industry cannot function. It's like internet for Google or tweets for Twitter. 
The most common Meteorological Instruments used are:

1. Wind Measurement System

As the name indicates, this system calculates the wind speed and direction. I am sure you ahve seen this instrument, an image at-least, somewhere:

2. Weather Surveillance Radar
Weather Radar is used to locate precipitation, calculate its motion, and estimate its type (rain, snow, hail etc.)

3. Meteorological Garden
An area protected by fence where most of the weather instruments are installed to measure vital parameters.

4.Low Level Wind Shear Alert System

These instruments are kept near runway to detect micro-bursts or wind shear, very dangerous for aircraft.
These wind are heavy and can cause the aircraft to change its intended path leading to worst-case scenarios.

6. Upper Air Observation System

The Balloon. To know accurate data of the atmosphere activities in stratosphere, an Upper Air Observation system is used. It's basically a large helium balloon with an instrument called Radiosonde. They measure the usual parameters like wind, pressure, temperature and pressure. Since the pressure decreases as the height increases, these systems blow up at 40km or less from the ground. Yea, everyday meteorological team in airport blow up $150 worth equipment.


We as passengers/pilots/engineers/ATC Controllers or anyone in aviation industry owe a lot to these instruments for making our live safe and easy.

I am grateful to Faisal for making me realize the importance of these systems.

Live Safe Guys..

1 comment:

  1. We live in the age of science & technology. Now days measuring weather condition is so easy. A cable weather station can provides the full weather condition in a while. Using cable weather station can measure the wind speed,direction of wind,amount of rain fallen in a specific time period,indoor or outdoor temperature etc.