RainWise Telemetry MK-II Long Range Air Strip Project

This project required weather data to be monitored at a remote airstrip in a valley, which was then sent via the mobile phone network back to Sydney so the owner could monitor weather conditions before flying out to this remote location. The only Next G phone signal was located almost 2 km away through dense bush on the side of a hill. The solution required a three-part approach:

  • A high-quality Weather Station capable of transmitting long distances out of the box if possible rather than the high cost aftermarket 2.4 gig wireless hardware that was difficult to configure and maintain.
  • Highly reliable Next G telemetry solution able to provide near real time weather data via web, mobile phone with the ability to provide weather alerts via SMS, and email.
  • Due to the remote location the solution needed to be solar powered that was cost-effective, had a small footprint, and could withstand severe weather conditions.

Part One: The Weather Station

Currently the only out-of-the-box high-quality Weather Station capable of transmitting long distances over 2.4 gig was the RainWise MK-III which transmits up to 1.6 km line of sight out of the box. Due to the dense bush between the Weather Station and receiver, the optional flat panel directional and omnidirectional base antennas were fitted. In testing we were able to transmit 12 km line of sight and maintained 85% plus signal strength. Similar results were recorded over 2 km through dense bush at the airstrip site.

Part Two: The Telemetry Communications

This was done via the RainWise Teledata Next G RTU. The Teledata Next G RTU plugs into the RainWise 3300 logger/receiver providing the transmission of weather station data along with virtual sensors that provided dewpoint, sigma theta winds stats, and live fire danger index which is useful when your airstrip is located in remote bushland. Weather station data can be viewed and or downloaded by the RainWise teledata server.

Part Three: Powered By The Sun

With the RainWise 3300 logger telemetry mode enabled, the power consumption is reduced by up to 50% along with the low power usage of the RainWise teledata RTU (12VDC at 65mA). A small 20 W solar panel and 20 amp hour battery was all that was required to run both units allowing for near real-time data 24x7. This system also allowed for SMS inquiry to current weather conditions via SMS.

The remote station can also be configured with sensor alarms and alarm groups. When an alarm is triggered e.g., 90mm/day rain, very high fire danger, 80 km wind from the west, etc. the remote station will send a SMS and or email weather alert to the mobile numbers and emails in that alarm group.