Ice Stations

ZENO® Ice Station  /  WEATHERPAK® Ice Station  /  C-5 SAM™ Ice Camp

Ice stations, sometimes called ice buoys, exist in a variety of configurations. The simplest weather stations have weather sensors to measure barometric pressure, air temperature and provide station location. The high latitudes require the use of a polar orbiting satellite, typically TIROS satellites used by ARGOS , for data transmission. The ARGOS system is also used to determine location. Recent experiments involving Coastal have shown that combining the ARGOS data with GPS data gives much greater location accuracy.

The more sophisticated ice station can have a complete suite of meteorological sensors (wind speed, direction, air temperature, barometric pressure and solar radiation.) A compass is necessary to obtain wind direction, as the ice station can move a considerable distance each day, and often changes its orientation. Relative humidity is typically not measured with an ice station because the cold temperatures make moisture almost negligible. In addition to surface meteorology, the ice station may also be measuring parameters below the ice (speed and direction of water current, conductivity, salinity, fluorescence, etc.)

Coastal has more ice stations operating in the Arctic than any other company in the world. Our experience will help make your project a successful one.

ZENO® Ice Station

Weather Instruments Ice Stations

The ZENO® ice stations are the most dependable units available for demanding low temperature sites. They are easy to set-up and operate, and trustworthy under extreme conditions.

Once assembled, the ZENO® weather station turns itself on and begins sampling and transmitting data on a predetermined schedule. Unlike most of our other professional weather stations, there seems to be no standard suite of meteorological sensors for the Arctic or Antarctic. In capability terms, the ZENO® ice station can read almost any sensor (analog, digital or serial "smart" sensors), process the data, plus check and act on alarms (sound an alarm or trigger a relay).

The ZENO® ice station is available with memory ranging from 16Kb to 20Mb. Memory is not usually an issue because you are constrained by the amount of data you send through the ARGOS satellite.


Weather Instruments WEATHERPAK®

The WEATHERPAK® is a complete self contained ONE PIECE wireless weather station. It's unique design makes it the most sophisticated, easy-to-use professional weather station available on the market today. It is easy to set-up and operate, and trustworthy under extreme conditions.

The WEATHERPAK® was co-designed with the US NAVY – specifically for Arctic situations. It can be successfully deployed quickly from a helicopter or submarine.

In addition to being a single piece weather station that literally installs in seconds, it is self-aligning with true north via a built-in fluxgate (no moving parts) compass. This feature eliminates the alignment set-up necessary with typical weather stations.

The WEATHERPAK® is built around a full 32-bit microcontroller and can contain up to 1 full megabyte of SRAM memory. A real-time clock and hardware watchdog timer combined with double o-ring seals and an anti-corrosive design keeps the WEATHERPAK® running on schedule and in any environment anywhere on earth.

In addition, the WEATHERPAK® can take data from "smart" serial sensors under the ice.

C-5 SAM™ Ice Camp

Weather Instruments C-5 SAM

The C-5 SAM™ Ice Camp weather station is our most economical integrated system.

The C-5 SAM™ maintains the ruggedness and ease of use found in all Coastal Environmental Systems weather stations. It includes a sensor head that digitizes the data right at the sensor, resulting in a signal that is impervious to electronic static and radio noise. A single cable leads from the sensor head to the display electronics*, where a built in 4x20 character LCD continually displays all the data. For data storage and graphing with our INTERCEPT® software, a cable (up to 1000 feet in length) can be connected from the display directly to a PC or Macintosh computer. The C-5 SAM™ weather station is used in both portable and permanent installations.

*(The display must be kept inside – it is not protected against the elements.)

Standard Sensors:

Standard sensors depend on your application. Typical ice station sensors include: wind speed and direction (gust and standard deviation – sigma theta – are calculated), air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. ZENO® ice stations also frequently include rainfall and solar radiation. A WEATHERPAK® can be ordered with just wind speed and direction.

Additional possibilities include ice thickness, water current speed and direction, solar radiation, flourometer, conductivity/salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, water quality, compass, GPS, and more. Please contact us for a complete listing. (Sensor Specifications)


ZENO® and WEATHERPAK® weather stations can run on AC (110 or 220), solar panel and/or batteries. A ZENO® or WEATHERPAK® can run up to three years on a single battery pack. The C-5 SAM™ weather station runs on 110 or 220 VAC.


A variety of displays is available depending on the application and location. The C-5 SAM™ comes with a 4 x 20 character LCD display. An optional large vacuum flourescent screen is available.


Towers are available ranging from 3-meter portable towers to 300 feet or higher towers. A WEATHERPAK® is most often used on a 3-meter ice tower.

User Interface/Display Software:

Software to download data is available free with ZENO® and WEATHERPAK® weather stations.

Coastal also makes pc-based INTERCEPT® software, which is available for purchase, to collect, display, archive and share data.

For complete information on Coastal's remote ice stations, please contact us.