News

Extreme weather trial at Mount Washington

04 May 2017

FT Technologies' new FT742-DM ultrasonic wind sensor is currently undergoing an extreme weather test at the summit of Mount Washington in the USA. In early March, two FT742-DM direct mount sensors, specifically designed for meteorological applications, were sited at the weather station and connected to a Campbell Scientific CR6 datalogger. Their data availability and general performance is being constantly monitored by both Mount Washington’s meteorologists and our own FT engineers back in London. The trial is intended to last until May 2017.

Speaking of the trial Fred Squire, FT’s Director of Sales and Marketing, said, “We chose to run the data availability trial at Mount Washington as it is home to the world’s worst weather. If the sensors can survive Mount Washington, they can survive anywhere.

“Reading wind speeds up to 75m/s (270 km/h, 146 knots) and with an operating range between -40°C and +85°C, our FT742-DM sensors needed somewhere really extreme in order to prove our claim that they are the world’s toughest wind sensors.

“As a test site, Mount Washington has a subarctic environment on par with Antarctica and the polar regions, but offers readily accessible and consistently extreme conditions. Its combination of subfreezing temperatures, moisture, and high winds provide us with the ideal conditions to test our sensors’ data availability as well as their resistance to both humid and icing conditions.”

Located at the 1917m (6,288-foot) summit of Mount Washington, the weather station is one of only a handful of permanently-staffed mountaintop stations in the world. With an average winter temperature of -14°C, and a record low of -44°C, the two FT742-DM wind sensors are already demonstrating their high data availability, even in these harsh conditions.

We hope to share the results of the extreme weather trial later in the year.

About Mount Washington

Established in 1932, the Mount Washington Observatory is a non-profit research and educational institution working to advance understanding of Earth's weather and climate. With incredible cold wind, ice, fog and snow Mount Washington is the home of the world’s worst weather. As an official National Weather Service (NWS) station that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the mountaintop crew includes computer programmers and accomplished meteorologists.

Mount Washington’s elevation and extraordinary conditions provide the ultimate challenge. Manufacturers of industrial products for aerospace, aviation, healthcare, military and scientific applications have chosen Mount Washington Observatory as a trusted partner in product testing.

High Elevation: 1917m (6,288')
Cold: Annual average temp -3°C (27°F); average winter temp -14°C ( 7°F); record low -44°C (-47°F)
Wind: Annual average 16m/s (35 mph); at or above hurricane force every other day on average in winter; record high 103m/s (231 mph)
Precipitation: Annual average 2540mm (100") of liquid; annual average 7137mm (281") of frozen precipitation; in the fog 60% of the time annually
Icing: Perfect combination of subfreezing temperatures, moisture, and high winds provide ample rime ice (freezing fog) and glaze ice (clear ice) in spring, fall, and winter

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