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Citizen Weather Observer

"Keep a weather eye on Peet Bros."


Commuting to work is a way of life for most people and driving 20 minutes to 1 hours is not unusual in our hardworking society. Most people do not have the option of phoning their office in the morning to learn whether or not they should travel to their job, but Bryan Moore is one of the lucky few who can do just that.

Mr. Moore owns Agri-Chem Sprayers, a company that does custom applications of herbicides and pesticides for growers. One major piece of equipment owned by the company, is a nurse truck that contains a 3000-gallon tank in which chemicals and water are mixed before spraying. The large truck remains at a site near the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington where his customers are located. The round trip to the site from his office in Hermiston, Oregon is about 100 miles. He used to get up every morning at 4:00 am and drive a pick-up truck to the site where his nurse truck was parked. All too often Mr. Moore would find it was too windy to spray effectively and then he'd have to make the stressful drive back home.

After many long and futile trips, Mr. Moore discovered the Weather Vox from Peet Bros. This unique, hi-tech little marvel, allows the user to access accurate and up-to-the-second weather reports by using a telephone or 2 way radio network. A 12 volt ac adapter or a built-in backup battery can power it so that functions are never lost. Now, thanks to the Weather Vox, an ULTIMETER Weather Station and a cellular phone situated in his truck, Mr. Moore's commute is more productive. He is able to rise at 4:00 am, call up his cellular phone, get the temperature, wind speed and direction at the site of his truck and then determine the prospect of spraying that day. When he is working, Mr. Moore stores temperature and wind speed data from the Weather Station in his permanent records. When conditions prevent spraying, Mr. Moore can spend more time catching-up on paperwork in his office.

The Weather Vox has been an important convenience and significant timesaving device for Bryan Moore. We are pleased to have made his life a little easier.



About 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, in a record-setting 2,940 feet water depth in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, stands the Mars Tension Leg Platform (TLP). The platform measures 3,250 feet high from seafloor to the crown block of the drilling rig. Its steel weight is nearly 36,500 tons. This massive installation was designed and engineered by Shell Oil Company in order to access one of the largest and deepest oil and natural gas deposits ever found in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil is transported to shore through the Mars Pipe Line system, which has the capacity to move 250,000 barrels of oil per day.

Severe storms and hurricanes are frequent in the Gulf of Mexico. The TLP was designed to withstand both hurricane force waves of 71 feet high and winds of 140 mph., making weather conditions an important element in the safety of the employees based at the site as well as for the preservation of this billion-dollar installation. Shell, a majority owner, thought it was important to purchase several weather stations in order to observe and record the most current weather conditions. The ULTIMETER 2000 Weather Station was chosen for this purpose.

Weather stations installed on Mars are a very critical part of the data information gathering system. The weather information is used to communicate accurate and up to the second reports to incoming and outgoing helicopter flights, to schedule crane lifting operations and to plan on-deck activities. The barometric alarm also warns personnel of severe weather, thunderstorms, squalls and water spouts approaching Mars.

Here is another fine example of the ULTIMETER 2000 meeting a critical and difficult industrial application.



Prior to the 1950s, meteorology was not taught as a unique scientific discipline; interested students generally enrolled in the engineering or physics department. Following great breakthroughs in research and the development of supercomputers, weather radar, meteorological satellites and other remote-sensing technologies, meteorology emerged as a legitimate area of research and universities instituted departments exclusively for the study of meteorology or atmospheric sciences.

The Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was established in 1982. Today DAS conducts a significant number of advanced research programs while offering a broad range of meteorology courses for both undergraduate and graduate study.

When the faculty recently needed to replace their old Heathkit weather station, the job of finding the best system on the market went to Mr. David Wojtowicz, Systems Manager, who is responsible for purchasing all electronic equipment for DAS. Through Internet and telephone research he carefully studied the design and reliability of various systems before ultimately selected the ULTIMETER 2000 System. He discovered that the ULTIMETER 2000, although very reasonably priced, matches or exceeds the basic capabilities of other systems and in addition, offers many outstanding features and accessories he simply couldn't buy elsewhere at any price.

The Weather Picture was one accessory that caught Mr. Wojtowicz's eye. This large, highly-visible weather display gathers the information from the ULTIMETER 2000 keyboard and shows the key up-to-the-second weather information. It is prominently located among the weather maps in the meteorology lab, where professors and students can quickly glance at the weather data they need.

Another reason Mr. Wojtowicz selected our system is the ease with which it can be connected to a computer to collect and storage of data for future research use. The wide variety of software programs offered by Peet Bros. makes it equally easy to connect to a local area network, or even the Internet. "We make the data available in real time to all the students and staff via the department's computer network so current observations can be made from their desks. Time-series plots often show interesting weather events. For example, during a storm earlier this month, we were able to identify a wind gust that blew over a large tree near our building."

Living an area that sees its share of winter weather, Mr. Wojtowicz also appreciated the value of our unique heated wind sensor and our heated ULTIMETER PRO rain gauge. The precipitation totals from the rain gauge are automatically e-mailed each day to the Illinois State Water Survey for inclusion in their records. We are pleased our ULTIMETER 2000 is making a contribution to meteorological research at this important facility.



Just about everyone around an airport is keenly interested in weather: pilots, other flight crew members, mechanics, counter staff, in-flight food concessionaires, airport shop keepers, arriving passengers, departing passengers and all those who are meeting them or seeing them off. While pilots can usually monitor the latest weather satellite images, National Weather Service forecasts, etc., most others around an airport have no easy way to access accurate local weather data.

That's what prompted James Hatsis, Manager of the Greene County Regional Airport in Greensboro, Georgia to purchase an ULTIMETER Weather Station and The Weather Picture. He mounted its big, easy-to-read wall display in the terminal lobby where everyone can see vital current weather information at a glance. Mr. Hatsis appreciates the fact that The Weather Picture has no Pushbuttons or adjustments, so curious children and unfamiliar adults can't inadvertently change the settings or clear stored data. He keeps the ULTIMETER keyboard/control unit in a private officer where he can set alarm values and display all current and stored values as needed.

Mr. Hatsis reports that many pilots and others passing through the lobby or waiting for flights have been delighted to be able to follow the latest wind conditions by merely glancing up at the wall.

We were pleased when Mr. Hatsis and the Greene County Regional Airport selected an ULTIMETER Weather Station and The Weather Picture. We're doubly pleased that now, after having the system installed for some months, Mr. Hatsis happily tells everyone who asks, "This is the best product of its kind for the price!"



Like many other states, Florida has strict controls on pesticide spraying. Osceola County recently had to undertake a substantial spraying program to avoid a serious mosquito problem. To support the program, the county pressed into service a network of ULTIMETER 2000 Weather Stations that had previously been installed for use in emergency situations including hazardous material incidents, fires and hurricanes. The Stations are situated in a wide circle around the 1,500 square mile county: at a forestry fire tower, three fire stations, a soccer field, and the county administrative offices, as well as at the secondary emergency operations center in Kissimmee. The Weather Stations provide on-site, detailed reports of weather data but most importantly for the pesticide program, accurate local wind speed and direction.

The Emergency Coordinator and his staff developed an innovative system for the pesticide spraying program. Data from all sites is collected by phone at the operations center using special Weather Modems from Peet Bros. Back up amateur radio links are also being established. Processed data is made available to a laptop computer at the spraying site and a cellular telephone link allows close coordination between the operations center and the field unit. By analyzing data coming in from the circle of reporting stations, the Emergency Management Team is able to predict shifts in wind speed and direction that will affect the spraying, and can temporarily suspend spraying whenever a coming wind change might carry the pesticide beyond the intended area. Peet Bros. is proud to have been able to help Osceola County meet this important need.



Keeping tabs on the multitude of man-made objects orbiting the earth is the job of the Maui Space Surveillance Complex (MSSC). Managed by the Air Force Space Command, the MSSC was originally designed as an observation site for missile launches. Its present mission is to track space debris and satellites for the protection of Air Force Satellites, the Space Shuttle and the Mir Space Station.

MSSC recently unveiled its latest and largest telescope, the Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS). This amazing instrument installed on the summit of the dormant volcano of Haleakala on Maui, can see a baseball-size object at 500 miles. AEOS is the largest telescope in the world used to track satellites, the largest one in the DOD surveillance system and the only one in the MSSC capable of observing very faint astronomical phenomena. In addition to tracking space objects, the AEOS radiometric, infrared and photometric sensors can help determine whether a satellite is active or inactive, tumbling or stabile, and whether its solar panels are correctly oriented toward the sun. At the heart of the telescope is a 5 ton mirror with a radius of 3.7 meters and an adaptive optics system that automatically corrects for atmospheric turbulence.

To protect this massive telescope from extremes of temperature, wind and humidity, there is a retractable 90 foot dome that can be closed when local weather conditions are threatening. Rocketdyne Technical Services, which provides technical support and site integration for the project, selected a Peet Bros. ULTIMETER 2000 Weather System for the all-important job of monitoring local weather conditions. This system was chosen largely because of its superior sensors: its elegantly simple, ultra-reliable wind sensor; its precision aged thermistor that gives extremely accurate and stable temperature measurements; and its unique solid-state capacitive-type humidity sensor that provides accurate humidity readings all the way from 0% to 100%. These engineers know they can depend on the ULTIMETER 2000 to tell them when its time to "close up" shop. Peet Bros. is proud to be associated with this far-sighted project.

"Keep a weather eye on Peet Bros."

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