FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 5, 2011: Working at night once the sun has gone down is one of the only ways to avoid the sweltering heat of a Middle Eastern summer. Steve Clark and Dan Smith, two Coastal installers, found that out the hard way during two AWOS installations in the UAE and Qatar. Temperatures during the day were consistently above 120° F, which made working in the desert very challenging. At that temperature, permanent mental and physical damage can occur in even just an hour of exposure. Steve and Dan reduced the problem by doing all of their work at night (the warmth of the lights and the 90+ ° F nighttime heat – still made it very tough).
The extreme heat was not the only problem Steve and Dan encountered. Blowing and swirling desert sand made it nearly impossible to work at times and when they did finally get time to sleep, they were kept awake by an over active rat population.
These two installations (Al Dhafra and Al Udeid Air Bases) were numbers 109 and 110 on the list of FMQ-19 AWOS stations that Coastal built and installed for the US Air Force over a 6 year period.
As requested by the Air Force, the Al Dhafra AWOS (Aviation Weather Station) was linked to the server via Wi-Fi radio which was part of a network the base already utilized. Additionally, since the ground is all sand, typical installation practices, such as burying the cables, did not work, so a "rail" (see in photo above) was used to carry the cable from the sensors to the FDCU (Field Data Collection Unit).
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