Automatic Weather Station (AWS) - © International Polar Foundation

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Testing the Automatic Weather Station

An Automatic Weather System (AWS) was set up on the Southern end of the Utsteinen ridge in 2004 in order to monitor local climate and understand the wind's behaviour at a smaller scale.

After having broken down due to a problem with the datalogger during BELARE 2006-2007, Johan Berte and Bernard Polet moved the AWS to the Northern end of the ridge and connected it to a second stand-alone wind speed sensor which was positioned on the Southern end of the ridge.

The AWS has now been programmed with two extra channels in order to accept sensors monitoring the inside temperature of the station, in the living room and in the offices. All in all, the AWS gathers data concerning the:

  • temperature inside the station
  • temperature outside the station
  • wind speed
  • wind gusts (highest wind speed peak over a 10 minute period)
  • wind direction
  • atmospheric pressure
  • sunshine duration

These data are then sent back to Johan Berte (project manager of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica, IPF) and Frank Pattyn (glaciologist, ULB, lead scientist on the first international expedition to be carried out at the station in November 2008) so that they can put together statistics and update existing mathematical models for the electricity and energy supply systems. This season thus serves as an optimization period in view of adjusting the system's parameters.

Author: IPF

Picture: Automatic Weather Station (AWS) - © International Polar Foundation

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