The Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) is a meteorological system used in airports. AWOS collects data from meteorological sensors, processes it, and provides it in real-time, supporting and automating the process of creating meteorological reports and forecasts. AWOS is a fundamental tool for meteorologists working in commercial airports and increasingly, an automated source of meteorological data and reports in smaller airports. While using the program, you may encounter certain problems. How to solve them?
1. Power outages while using AWOS
During the operation of the AWOS system, power outages may occur to the sensors and infrastructure of the system. This primarily applies to airports without guaranteed power supply. Even momentary power outages can lead to many negative phenomena, from the lack of access to data to the inability to send meteorological reports according to the schedule.
Many meteorological sensors require a lot of time to restart after power is restored, which further exacerbates the confusion. The solution to this problem is to provide battery backup power for all AWOS system elements. It is important to choose the appropriate equipment that can withstand the temperature to which it is exposed.
2. Sensor calibration – how to solve problems during testing?
Some AWOS system sensors require periodic metrological calibration (verification) by an authorized unit every few years. During this test period (usually 2-4 weeks), the device must be disassembled and sent to the controlling company. During this time, the system will be without indications of the given sensor. Due to the fact that mainly the barometer and temperature and humidity sensor undergo calibration, the AWOS system is practically inoperative during calibration of any of them.
The solution to this problem is to have spare sensors. However, it should be remembered that using one spare sensor during calibration does not leave a spare sensor in case of a breakdown. Another possible solution is a service contract. The service provider will ensure the execution of metrological calibration and provide a replacement sensor service on time.
3. Changes in regulations and expensive updates. How much does AWOS cost?
The AWOS purchased by the airport is compliant with the applicable regulations at the time of delivery. In the event of changes in applicable law or standards and practices, it is necessary to update the system to comply with them. This requires purchasing updates. How much does AWOS and its update cost? It is a niche system, so the update will be expensive, but is it really?
To prevent this, purchase AWOS software as a service (SaaS). By purchasing software in this form, you avoid the high initial cost of software in favor of a subscription. An undeniable advantage of such a solution is constant access to updates and new features. The price of AWOS can, therefore, be very affordable.
4. Configuration changes – a way to improve system performance
Operational practice shows that it is often necessary to make changes to the configuration of the AWOS system. These changes often go beyond the standard settings available to the user, including the system administrator. In such cases, it is necessary to commission the software manufacturer to perform the reconfiguration. The commission will be carried out in order (which may involve a long wait time) and for an appropriate (often excessively high) fee. The solution is to purchase AWOS software that allows for the widest possible configuration of the application by the system purchaser.
5. Problems with data transmission system
During airport modernization, telecommunication cables are often damaged, and the network and server infrastructure are susceptible to damage during unforeseen events.
The remedy for these problems is to ensure adequate data transmission redundancy based on Wi-Fi, LoRa or LTE wireless network. System servers can be located in the cloud in different physical locations, which effectively eliminates the risk of physical hardware damage.
Why use the AWOS system?
Weather conditions play a significant role in aviation operations and often determine the precautions and procedures used at airports. With Airotec AWOS, every airport, regardless of size, can implement a tool fully compliant with ICAO/WMO to provide accurate and reliable meteorological information. The system is designed to adapt to individual and current needs but also guarantees the possibility of future expansion.
In our offer we have:
* AIROTEC AWOS BASIC – a weather observation system dedicated to small airports and airfields.
* AIROTEC AWOS STANDARD – a weather observation system dedicated to meteorological protection services that operates in remote or traditional mode.
Written by Maciej Wojciechowski (owner Airotec)