The nature of emergency response dictates that emergency weather stations must be easy to deploy and operate, endure rough handling and harsh conditions, and provide reliable, site-specific weather data.
WEATHERPAK® is the only weather station that meets the requirements of Hazmat/WMD response operations and withstands the associated rigors. It is impervious to airborne chemicals, designed to be deployed in or near the hot zone, and meets or exceeds MIL-STD-810 (Environmental), MIL-STD-461 and MIL-STD-462 (RFI/EMI).
Hazmat weather stations are typically used in two ways, either as a rapid response tool following the release of hazardous materials, or for routine monitoring of critical infrastructure (e.g., chemical, petroleum, water treatment facilities, etc.).
In either case, site-specific weather data can be viewed on the display screen and simultaneously fed to plume dispersion software (CAMEO®*/ALOHA®*, PEAC-WMD®**, COBRA, etc.). These programs graphically display a chemical plume overlaid on a map of the immediate vicinity, which allows Incident Command to make confident decisions based on reliable data.
WEATHERPAK measures wind speed and direction (every second), temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and optionallygamma radiation. Then it computes the values prescribed by the US EPA to properly update a plume model. The data is then transmitted to a computer from one to five miles line-of-sight via radio.
*CAMEO/ALOHA: registered trademarks of the US EPA and NOAA
**PEAC-WMD: registered trademark of Aristatek, Inc.
The WEATHERPAK MTR hazmat weather station incorporates all of the features above that make WEATHERPAK the number one choice of professional responders, and much more:
The touch screen on the MTR display provides access to multiple information screens that display weather data in a variety of ways. These screens include Active and Preview screens, a raw data screen, and a screen displaying a columnar list of other WEATHERPAK weather stations nearby. Following is a summary of each screen's function:
The optional Background Gamma Radiation Sensor measures the relative amount of background gamma radiation present, and helps determine the presence or surge in the amount of gamma radiation. The sensor would allow First Responders to identify a hazardous presence of gamma radiation and also quantify the amount of typical background radiation for their locations.
Graph Screens track data from each WEATHERPAK MTR system over time. When the display is turned on, data begins to accumulate and is displayed for the most recent three-hour period. Graphs include wind direction and speed, temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity.
The WEATHERPAK TRx2 features an ultrasonic no-moving-parts wind sensor, air temperature/relative humidity sensors, and an electronic compass. Data is transmitted via radio or is hard-wired when exclusively “vehicle-mounted”.
Data is sent to a PC to automatically update the plume model, and values can be viewed on a backlit liquid crystal display.
WEATHERPAK EOC is the easiest professional grade weather station in the world to install and maintain. Built-in GPS and an electronic compass automatically align the system to True North, eliminating wind direction errors during installation. One cable provides system power and retrieves the data.
Standard sensors include an ultrasonic "no-moving-parts" wind sensor and air temperature. Relative humidity, barometric pressure, and gamma radiation sensors can be added to meet your local requirements.
In 1984, the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approached Coastal Environmental Systems with a beta version of the ALOHA plume modeling software and asked if we would build a portable weather station to use with this new tool for hazmat responders. The objective was to deliver on-site data to the responders at the incident scene surprisingly a revolutionary concept at the time. The system we developed and tested, in cooperation with the Seattle Fire Department, is the foundation of WEATHERPAK® as is exists today.
The first "hazmat" WEATHERPAK was purchased by the Huntington Beach Fire Department (California) in 1988. Since then, Coastal has become the leading manufacturer of emergency response weather stations. WEATHERPAK is now used by hundreds of fire departments, all branches of the US military, and by militaries and emergency management agencies around the world.