Pumping crude oil tends to take place in some pretty inhospitable locales. Esso Exploration and Production Chad Inc. (operator of a consortium that also includes Petronas Carigali [Chad EP] Inc. and Chevron Petroleum Chad Co. Ltd.) uses a remote airstrip in Kome, Chad, to support its crude oil production operations there. To maintain safe operation of the airstrip, the company needed a better weather observation system to keep tabs on the local conditions.
The company chose the Series 900 automated weather observation system (AWOS) from All Weather, Inc., which combines sensors with a powerful, microprocessor-based computer system to collect and process environmental data. The AWOS can measure and report wind speed, direction, and gusts; temperature; RH; precipitation; visibility; altimeter setting; density altitude; cloud height; and sky condition. Its forward scatter visibility sensor uses a four-head design and can measure varying density and scatter functions, including fog, snow, rain, haze, smoke, dust, and sand—something traditional two-head visibility sensors can't do. It's also able to operate in harsh conditions, a definite plus in Chad.
In addition to providing up-to-the-minute weather conditions to logistics personnel, the AWOS also provides full remote maintenance monitoring capabilities, allowing them to access the system via telephone.