Thursday November 6, 2003
A hand held digital weather station that measures every major environmental condition has proved a useful tool for firefighters battling the recent spate of serious wildfires in California. The Kestrel 4000 provides on-the-spot, location specific weather readings for humidity, barometric pressure, heat stress, dew point, altitude, wet bulb temperature, wind chill, wind speed, temperature and density altitude, giving immediate access to critical information on which fire fighting decisions can be based.
According to manufacturers Nielsen Kellerman, the device is particularly attractive to firefighters because of its accuracy and speed in measuring humidity (+/- 3 percent accuracy), temperature (quick response to within +/- 1 degree) and wind speed (3% or better accuracy).
The Kestrel 4000 is also a tracking device that logs the environmental data throughout expeditions via a 250 data point memory that stores, logs and charts weather conditions for up to four months.
An optional computer interface also makes it possible to upload data for long-term storage, analysis and detailed charting over time.
The Kestrel 4000 costs AUD$695 (including GST) and the optional computer interface and upload software retails for US$79.