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Harsh environmental conditions affect radar operations and personnel safety at Eglin Airforce Base in Florida.
Located on the Gulf Coast in the panhandle of Florida, Eglin Air Force Base is often subject to hot and humid weather conditions that can make it dangerous to work outside. Additionally, their radar operations can be subject to atmospheric interference. All these factors intersected when a new radar site was constructed.
Wes Mason, Radar Engineer for Reliance Test & Technology* reports, “Eglin AFB built a radar site 300 miles away, in the lightning capitol of the United States. We needed a weather station to measure the local conditions to correct the atmospheric errors. However, this location is too far away for Eglin AFB to provide the weather conditions for personnel safety, so we upgraded to the Columbia Weather Systems Pulsar 800 sensor with the optional Black Globe sensor. The new weather station adds lightning and solar data, so we generate our own lightning and heat stress indications for when it is safe to work outdoors or not.”
Although the site is remote, personnel have to visit periodically for maintenance. So when someone needs to go to the remote site, instead of driving and then not being able to work if conditions don’t permit, they can check the weather conditions and reschedule if needed.
*According to their website, Reliance Test and Technology (RT&T) provides engineering and technical support to the Eglin Test and Training Range complex (ETTC) and the National Radar Cross Section Test Facility (NRTF) for the Air Force.
“We needed a weather station to measure the local conditions to correct the atmospheric errors . . . The new weather station adds lightning and solar data, so we generate our own lightning and heat stress indications for when it is safe to work outdoors or not.”
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