Before we get into the nitty-gritties of how a weather station sensor works, logically, there are a few things that you must know about a weather station.
First: What’s the purpose of a weather station? As the name implies, a weather station is a collection of tools that help one analyze the atmospheric conditions prevailing in that particular area. In simple words, it helps one determine the weather prevailing in a particular area.
Second: What are weather stations sensors? As established in the above paragraph, a weather station is not a single device. It is a device that is made up of multiple sensors. In essence, a weather station is a device that is made up of multiple sensors that help record various atmospheric conditions.
‘Weather stations sensors’, sounds complicated? Thermometer, barometer, hygrometer, anemometer. How about now? Every weather station comes equipped with different sensors, this varies from one model to another. Each sensor works differently. Given below, is a gist of how four of the most common weather station sensors work:
A thermometer here, records the atmospheric temperature. There’s no one way as to how they work. In fact, to keep it brief, we will look at just the three most popular mechanisms on which a thermometer functions.
- Thermocouples: Electromagnetic force created by the fusion of two metals, indicates temperature changes.
- Thermistors: Works using an active resistor. Based on the resistance output, the temperature can be found out.
- PTD Probes: Makes the use of a pure metal. The electrical resistance of the metal indicates temperature changes.
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We know that a barometer is used to measure the atmospheric pressure. But how does it work? Basically, there’s a sensor within a barometer that measures the pressure applied by the atmosphere at one particular area.
Humidity is an important ‘weather attribute’. A hygrometer is used to determine the level of humidity that’s present in the air. It measures the relative humidity of the air, not absolute. Generally, humidity is related to the temperature. Hence, hygrometers are generally placed close to the thermometer. In principle, there’s a sensor within a hygrometer which absorbs the water that’s present in the air. Using information about the temperature and this recorded humidity, a hygrometer gives the accurate relative humidity that’s prevalent in the air at that particular moment.
In principle, there’s a sensor within a hygrometer which absorbs the water that’s present in the air. Using information about the temperature and this recorded humidity, a hygrometer gives the accurate relative humidity that’s prevalent in the air at that particular moment.
To some people, information about the wind speed and wind direction are very important. In order to obtain this information, weather stations need to have an anemometer. An anemometer too works in multiple ways:
- Propeller Anemometer: As the name suggests, it is a propeller anemometer. A propeller coupled with a vane generate data regarding wind speed and direction.
- Sonic anemometer: Makes use of sonic waves to generate data in relation to wind speed and direction. Quicker the wind, faster the sonic waves.
- Cup anemometer: The most common anemometer. It is designed using three cups, all of which are aligned in a manner that give information regarding wind speed and direction. It generally comes with a vane, too.
There’s one more sensor that’s often found in weather stations which is not included in this article. Any guesses?