Automatic Weather Stations (AWS)

In addition to the long-term measurements in Antarctica, (Neumayer_III), in the Arctic (AWIPEV) and on the oceans (Polarstern) automatic weather stations (AWS) are in use.

The numbers of the AWS-systems and their locations are chosen with respect to the scientific demands. To make an anual maintance with a minimum of logistic effort possible, the AWS-systems are normally colocated with sites visited for additional investigations.


Science: Holger Schmithüsen
Technique: Bernd Loose, Loretta Preis

AWS Søråsen
AWS Filchner
AWS Halvfarryggen
AWS Kohnen

At AWI, modifyed AWS-systems based on stations from Campell Scientific are in use. To quantify errors - which are typical in an unmanned operation mode - they got tested for years in close vicinity of the instruments from Neumayer_III.

They provide data from the following instruments monted at up to 2 height levels:

  • Air pressure at the height of the AWS,
  • air temperature,
  • relative humidity with respect to water,
  • wind direction,
  • wind velocity,
  • relative height of the snow surface,
  • global radiation,
  • reflex radiation,
  • long-wave downward radiation,
  • long-wave upward radiation,
  • voltage of the power supply,
  • temperature from the data taker (cr3000) .

From the measured data minutely averages get saved locally inside the AWS. In parallel, they get transmitted hourly via IRIDIUM to the Alfred Wegener Institute. The most recent data get forwarded into the Globale Telekommunikation System (GTS) of the Wold Meteorology Organization (WMO), where they contribute to wold wide weather forcasts.