An Automatic Weather Station (AWS) is an automated version of the traditional weather station, either to save human labour or to enable measurements from remote areas. An AWS will typically consist of a weather-proof enclosure containing the data logger, rechargeable battery, telemetry (optional) and the meteorological sensors with an attached solar panel or wind turbine and mounted upon a mast. The specific configuration may vary due to the purpose of the system. The system may report in near real time via the Argos System and the Global Telecommunications System, or save the data for later recovery. In the past, automatic weather stations were often placed where electricity and communication lines were available.
Most automatic weather stations have:
- Thermometer for measuring temperature
- Anemometer for measuring wind speed
- Wind vane for measuring wind direction
- Hygrometer for measuring humidity
- Barometer for measuring atmospheric pressure