Semi-Automatic Weather Observation System

The Copperchase Meteorological System, METSYS, operates in a similar manner to an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at an airfield. It consists of a set of meteorological sensors located at appropriate points on the airfield, a data-gathering processor running METSYS software, and a number of distributed MET displays.

The sensors send raw or averaged meteorological data at periodic intervals, typically of 30 seconds. The data gateway processor reads the incoming data and stores it in a database for later distribution to MET displays or to other systems.

The information collected and displayed by the METSYS will be used by ATC staff, meteorologists, pilots and flight dispatchers to prepare and monitor weather forecasts, plan flight routes, and provide necessary information for correct takeoffs and landings.

The METSYS makes available the actual and averaged readings from airfield instruments to:

  • a number of dedicated MET displays for controllers in the Visual Control Room (VCR) and Radar/Approach Room
  • the MET observer staff at the airfield to assist them in creating the Surface Actual (SA), METAR and SPECI (MET reports) for the airfield.
  • the Automated Terminal Information Service (ATIS).

The airfield sensors measure weather parameters such as wind speed and direction, barometer pressure, temperature and dew point, visibility, cloud heights and precipitation. The METSYS can accept data from any combination of sensors using the manufacturers proprietary telemetry interface for each sensor. The METSYS will not predict weather, but it may be used to send current information to weather offices where forecasts are produced. Subject to the instruments available, the METSYS will typically record the following:

Each weather reading may be recorded at various points on the airfield, e.g. at the TDZ (Touch Down Zone, or Threshold).

ICAO Requirements

Chapter 4 of the ICAO document Annex 3 describes the requirements for automatic MET systems in terms of the acquisition, processing, dissemination and display in real-time of the meteorological parameters affecting landing and take-off operations at an airfield. The Copperchase METSYS adheres to the recommendations and practices described in Annex 3.

METSYS generates alarms or warnings for the generation of SPECI (special) reports according to the criteria defined in Annex 3 for changes in each of the meteorological parameters.

UK Civil Aviation Authority Requirements

METSYS follows the requirements and recommendation of the CAA document CAP 670 ATS Safety Requirements, Part C Communication, Navigation and Surveillance, MET 02 / Section 3, MET 02, Engineering Requirements for Ground Based Meteorological Displays.