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Emergency Response Weather Stations for Professional Responders

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).

Coastal Tactical/Portable AWOS
One of four Coastal WEATHERPAK weather stations at the White House!

The Critical Role of WEATHERPAK®

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 optionally—gamma 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.

WEATHERPAK Updates Plume Software

*CAMEO/ALOHA: registered trademarks of the US EPA and NOAA
**PEAC-WMD: registered trademark of Aristatek, Inc.

Features Common to all Portable WEATHERPAK® Emergency Response Weather Stations

  • WEATHERPAK is primarily designed for portable use — It is self-contained with no cables, connectors, or switches.
  • Easily deployed — WEATHERPAK can be set up in less than 60 seconds — without tools — by a responder wearing full protective gear and breathing apparatus.
  • Automatically updates CAMEO®*/ALOHA®*, PEAC-WMD®**, CoBRA and other chemical plume modeling software.
  • Ultrasonic Wind Sensor — A rugged, no-moving-parts wind sensor that is very accurate and does not require periodic calibration.
  • Computes five-minute running averages and wind stability calculation as required by the EPA.
  • Automatically aligns to True North. Internal electronic compass eliminates alignment errors.
  • Built of a T-6061 marine grade aluminum, WEATHERPAK will survive a six-foot drop to concrete, is submersible for decontamination, and contains no plastic or PVC structural components.

WEATHERPAK® MTR

On-site, real-time weather data for chemical, biological, and radiological response

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:

  • SmartDetect™ Firmware — Automatically networks and displays data from up to 20 additional WEATHERPAK hazmat weather stations in the vicinity, from which the operator can select the most representative data to send to the model.
  • — Features touch screen access to data from any WEATHERPAK in the vicinity.
  • Integrated GPS — Provides the location of other WEATHERPAK MTRs in the vicinity, and also automatically applies the compass declination, providing accurate wind direction data regardless of where the system is used or transported.
  • Designed for use in or near the hot-zone. Data is transmitted via radio (UHF or Spread Spectrum) to the plume model.
  • Optional Gamma Radiation sensor alerts responders to the presence of a radiation hazard.

WEATHERPAK® MTR Receiver/​Display

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:

Active Screen

The Active Screen is the most important and most frequently used information screen. It displays the data received from the Active WEATHERPAK (the weather station that has been selected to provide data to the plume model). Access to all other screens is initiated here.

Detected Screen

The Detected Screen displays data from other WEATHERPAK systems detected in the vicinity, in a columnar fashion. If any of the remote systems are WEATHERPAK MTRs, the relative position (direction and distance) for those weather stations will also be displayed.

Preview Screen

The Preview Screen displays data from any weather station listed on the WEATHERPAK Detected Screen. It allows the operator to view the status of that system and change its Active or Default status.

Status Screen

The Status Screen displays the unique serial number of the individual WEATHERPAK, its tower battery voltage, and the raw data line being transmitted by the selected WEATHERPAK.

WEATHERPAK MTR Configuration Screen

Configuration Screens allow the user to easily configure the way data is viewed. When the MTR is first powered on, the user can configure pressure and temperature units, wind units, latitude/longitude formats, data forwarding, and calibrate the touch screen. The previous configuration settings are retained if these screens are bypassed.

Active Screen with Background Gamma Radiation Sensor Option

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.

With this option, a Gamma light has been added to the Active Screen. When gamma radiation levels are in the tolerable range, the light is green. If the level of gamma radiation exceeds specified limits, the light will change to either yellow or red, depending on the amount, and start flashing. An alert will appear on screen that must be addressed by the user before other screens can be accessed.

WEATHERPAK MTR Graph Screens

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.

  • Integrated GPS — Provides the location of other WEATHERPAK MTRs in the vicinity, and also automatically applies the compass declination, providing accurate wind direction data regardless of where the system is used or transported.
  • Designed for use in or near the hot-zone. Data is transmitted via radio (UHF or Spread Spectrum) to the plume model.
  • Optional Gamma Radiation sensor alerts responders to the presence of a radiation hazard.

WEATHERPAK TRx2

An economical workhorse — featuring the same rugged reliability that defines WEATHERPAK

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”.

TRx2 Display

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 Network

WEATHERPAK EOC Network Diagram

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) — A structure mounted station uniquely suited for emergency management applications such as urban networks and monitoring critical infrastructures.

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.

  • Able to quickly create a weather station network anywhere Ethernet access is accessible.
  • Readily adapts to a wide variety of commercially available mounting solutions.
  • Coastal's INTERCEPT® software displays and archives data, and provides alerts and secure controlled data access via the Web.

Coastal's Hazmat History

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.