Weather Station - Watts Bridge

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including aviation events in S.E. Q'ld, Airfields, Flying Stories and general interest.
Jim Peters
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 am

Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Jim Peters » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:35 am

I understand that Watts Bridge airport is in the process of installing an Automatic Wether Reporting System on the airfield with real time video accessible on the Internet.

Does anyone have any details of the contemplated system, its installation date and whether the output (access) will be available on our WEB page.

Another great innovation! Where will the camera be located?
Last edited by Jim Peters on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jim Peters
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 am

Re: Weather Camera Watts Bridge

Postby Jim Peters » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:37 am

Sorry for the purists, that should be airfield!
Last edited by Jim Peters on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tom
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:08 am

Weather station

Postby Tom » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:29 pm

Recent BoM minutes contain suggestion that we create a CASA approved weather station for the airfield, at a cost of $3,500. I don't see how this would benefit members. We know what the weather is at the airfield before we fly, simply by opening our eyes. Any comments as to how we would benefit from this expenditure?

Electra
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:54 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Electra » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:03 pm

Could people flying into the airfield, access the weather station online.
The funds paying for the weather station are from Dick Smith, a gift. I wouldn't like to see this donation absorbed into the general running expenses.

DougStott
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby DougStott » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:22 pm

The donation from Dick Smith, like other donations he and Pip made to airfields around the country similar to Watts Bridge had I understand a preference that the money be used for a safety related cause or project. A weather Station would certainly qualify in that regard. If there is any change left over, I am sure we could find something else that would enhance safety on the field. As NBN is now available at Watts, the BoM will no doubt work out a way to provide the weather data on the web.

Jim Peters
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Jim Peters » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:01 am

Notwithstanding the generous donation of Dick Smith which has funded the camera system, there are several advantages of the weather system worthy of mention.

1. Departing and arriving flights, flight planning and management.
2. Transiting flights -flight planning and management including traffic considerations
3. Promotion of Fuel sales
4 Promotion of the Airfield.
5. Planning for attendance at Watts bridge events.

Watts Bridge Airfield is in a very strategic location with respect to Amberley Military Airspace and adjacent high terrain. It is also adjacent to the NW routes for arrivals and departures to/from Archerfield, Redcliffe and Kilcoy.

I think it is a great enhancement and will promote informed flight planning and management.

"" A picture is worth a thousand words ""
Last edited by Jim Peters on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DougStott
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby DougStott » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:23 am

Something like this would be good, updated every 15 mins or whenever:

http://avmet.ymbt.org.au/

When you view the picture, scroll to the right.

Jim Peters
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Jim Peters » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:32 pm

Great pictures and very handy information for those who want to be ahead of the aeroplane and know exactly how they will manage their descent, circuit and perhaps the runway and traffic environment.
The station will be part of a national network of similar stations that Dick Smith has so generously funded so there will be a potentially large number of pilots who will use it. We are indeed fortunate to be a part of this network of strategically located weather stations.

Representative Units

http://www.davisinstruments.com.au/stations

Examples of webcam output.

http://www.weathercamnetwork.com.au/tamworth_e.html

Announcement at AOPA Conference at Avalon Air Show March 2017
http://www.australianflying.com.au/latest/airservices-to-act-on-weather-cam-suggestion

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Richard Faint
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:21 pm

SYSTEM UPDATE - Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:02 am

Hello Everyone,

I think that now is a good time for more information and some background to the Weather Station and Weather Cameras which are to be installed at Watts Bridge in the near future - probably 2 to 3 months. This initiative is being financed by a most generous donation from Dick Smith. Add to that the recent WBMA connection to the NBN which is the other requirement for uploading images and data to the website. Data upload estimates are approximately 10GB/month.

Weather Station
The weather station hardware which has been selected is a Davis Vantage Pro 2 Wireless Weather Station with Standard Radiation Shield and WeatherLinkIP Data Logger / Software. The Davis products are highly regarded in the weather station community, have Australian distributors, and offer good warranty and after sales service. In addition, replacement components such as Anarometers and Wind Vanes are readily available and fairly priced.

davis_vantage_pro2.jpg
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The weather station provides real time data, with specialist software required to get customized weather information and displays onto the website. I have been playing around with this for many years and on a personal level it is wonderful to see this finally coming to fruition.

The information which will be provided by way of analogue style gauges includes.....
  • Real time gauges for Wind Strength, Wind Direction and a Wind Rose,
  • Barometric pressure,
  • Temperature and Dew Point,
  • Rain Fall and Rain Rate,
  • Humidity

There is a working prototype of the gauges display on the website at http://www.wattsbridge.com.au/weatherstation/gauges.php
Please note that the prototype gauges page is NOT being driven by the Davis, which is still on order. For testing and development purposes I am using a cheapo Chinese station I have which was all but destroyed in the recent hail storm at Watts. Please note that this page may NOT be updating 24/7 at present.

In addition to the gauges page there will be tabular data for Current Conditions, Today's Maxs and Mins, Today (so far) Vs Yesterday Max and Mins, Monthly Records, Annual Records and All Time Records. In time to come there may also be year to year monthly records.

Weather Cameras
In addition to the Weather Station, it is envisaged that there will be four Weather Cameras, nominally aimed at the North, East, South and West horizons. This will allow for an excellent appraisal of weather conditions at the field. Most pilots now carry an in-cockpit internet connected device such as an iPhone, iPad or other tablet for secondary navigational guidance. The cameras will allow a pilot to make informed decisions as to the weather conditions they can expect to encounter from the direction from which they are coming. Situational awareness makes for good decisions and outcomes. In addition, members will also be able to make an appraisal of conditions at the airfield prior to driving (or flying) to Watts Bridge.

The choice of camera is still under evaluation, but the most likely candidate is the Foscam Fi9900EP. Once again, Australian distributors, reasonable warranty etc etc. I have a sample unit looking out across the backyard at home allowing the development of the scripts which upload the images and then display them. Very very much work in progress at
http://www.wattsbridge.com.au/weathercams/weathercams.php
Please note that this page may NOT be updating 24/7 at present.

Other Equipment
In addition to the big ticket items there will be additional equipment to tie it all together.
  • Laptop Computer (HP SSHD?) to run the weather station software and allow the system to be remotely monitored,
  • LAN Router / Switch to connect the cameras and weather station,
  • The LAN will also allow for other WBMA Office functions, print spooling, guest connections to the internet etc,
  • A UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) to keep the whole system, including the NBN fixed wireless and WIFI networks up and running in the event of a mains power failure.

Final positioning and physical mounting of the equipment is yet to be finalised, but realistically it has to be within close proximity to the WBMA Office. Extensive research indicates that WIFI range extenders and the like simply do not work well outdoors within the budget we have to work with.

In summary,
I strongly believe that the Weather Station and Weather Cameras will prove to be a great asset for the airfield, pilots flying to the field and the broader membership. Situational awareness enhances safety.

And finally,
Please allow me to reiterate that this initiative is at absolutely NO cost to the the WBMA members, thanks to the generosity of Dick Smith :geek:

Katrina Duke
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:39 am

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Katrina Duke » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:16 pm

Thank you Richard for the great information and all the time you have spent on this great addition to the airfield.