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Shipboard Weather Stations

For Military, Research, Search & Rescue, and Commercial Applications

A shipboard weather station has very special requirements. It must operate in both a harsh and a dirty environment — where salt spray, stack exhaust, high winds, fog, and heavy rain are frequent.

Many are also required to calculate True winds (the wind relative to Earth's True North) and Relative winds (winds relative to the ship) when the ship is moving, stationary, drifting, or performing an experiment or maneuver.

To defeat these conditions, it is necessary to have a completely sealed unit, minimize cables and connectors, and use double O-ring seals and metallic components built from 6061-T6 Mil-spec anti-corrosive aluminum. This enclosure should be protected with a baked-on thermoplastic resin.

To calculate True North under all conditions, it is necessary to have both GPS and a built-in, no-moving-parts compass (the GPS for while the ship is moving, and the compass for when it is drifting, stationary, or in other conditions where the bow is not pointed directly in the direction the ship is moving).

Coastal Environmental Systems has over 30 years of experience selecting the right sensors for reliability in extreme conditions, and the knowledge to properly feed data to your ship's interfaces.

Single Point, Dual Points, and Multiple Points System Diagrams

C-5 SAM Single Point Relative Winds Diagram
WEATHERPAK Single Point Relative or True Winds Diagram
WEATHERPAK Dual Points True Winds Diagram
WEATHERPAK Multiple Points Diagram
Coastal Environmental Systems Shipboard System Comparison

Which Coastal Shipboard Weather Station is Best for your Vessel?


Shipboard WEATHERPAK with GPS antenna

The WEATHERPAK® shipboard weather station is used on ships that require True wind calculations, both port and starboard wind data, on larger military vessels, and on research vessels.

WEATHERPAK employs its own compass and its own independent GPS receiver to compute True wind direction. Its powerful ARM-9 microcontroller (ZENO® datalogger) allows the WEATHERPAK to consider both port and starboard systems, to determine which is upwind, correct to True wind, then report that data. It is also powerful enough to communicate with other ships' sensors via RS-232-RS-422 or RS-485.

Unique Features:

  • WEATHERPAK® contains all the standard sensors and eliminates all cables and all connectors; (cables and connectors are the weakest points on any marine system)
  • Double O-ring sealed; all electronics are protected with this seal; there is no desiccant to change out or any maintenance!
  • The WEATHERPAK external housing is constructed of Military-Standard 6061-T6 anti-corrosive aluminum, coated with a baked-on thermoplastic resin
  • A WEATHERPAK system can be removed or replaced in service in less than 60 seconds; most sensors can be replaced in less than 60 minutes
  • Every wire in or out is protected from radar, radios, and electrical interference

C-5 SAM/N™


The economical C-5 SAM/N maintains the ruggedness and ease of use found in all Coastal Environmental Systems weather stations. With a sensor head that digitizes the data right at the sensor, the signals become impervious to electronic static and radio noise.

A single cable leads from the sensor head to the display electronics, where a built-in 4 x 20 character LCD continually displays all the data. For data storage and graphing with Coastal's INTERCEPT® software, a cable (up to 1000 feet in length) can be connected from the display directly to a computer.

Unique Features:

  • Electronics sealed in aluminum enclosure protected by baked on thermoplastic resin
  • Sensors integrated into a single sensor head
  • Performs a 5-second average of data
  • Comes with a display, and can forward data in NMEA 0183
  • Does not compute True winds

Who Trusts Coastal?

Military Vessels

The US Navy, US Coast Guard, Armada de México, Marine Nationale (France), Republic of China Navy (Taiwan), Hellenic Navy (Greece) and many other international navies trust Coastal to provide reliable and accurate weather information for their ships at sea.

Research Vessels

Coastal counts many national and international research agencies and institutes among our customers, including the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), and CICESE (Mexico).

These and many more research institutes use Coastal shipboard systems because of their ability to integrate a multiple point system, monitor oceanographic as well as meteorological parameters, and because of the high quality and flexibility of the WEATHERPAK® weather station. Additionally, they share the data with on- and off-ship scientists in real-time using Coastal’s web-based INTERCEPT® software.

TRANSAS, Shell Oil, Ecopetrol, Transocean, Boeing and the Arabian Oil Company

From the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico to the waters off Nova Scotia, Coastal systems on offshore platforms aid in helicopter operations as well as standard weather reporting. Many systems also monitor other parameters, such as water temperature.

For Boeing, two WEATHERPAK® systems are installed on both sides of the platform because a large radar in the center impacts winds from either direction. The WEATHERPAK systems automatically report the "upwind" sensor readings to the ship's LAN.


Data Collection, Display, and Forwarding Software

Coastal's INTERCEPT® software is built on an open source platform that will automatically gather, organize, archive, and display data from all weather stations in the network. It is web based so any number of users on the ship's LAN can view the data by using a simple web browser.


Stand Alone Displays

For Every Shipboard Application

The display box/bridge interface is at the center of the WEATHERPAK® Shipboard Weather Station. It distributes power to the system, collects data from WEATHERPAK, displays selected data on the screen, and passes the NMEA message out to the navigation system. In the dual WEATHERPAK system, a switch allows the user to select which WEATHERPAK will report data to the display and output the NMEA message.

Shipboard Display