WindSonic Wind Sensors WindSonic Wind Sensors WindSonic Wind Sensors
Designed & manufactured in the UK

WindSonic Wind Sensors

Product code: WS1 | WS2 | WS3 | WS4

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The WindSonic wind speed and direction sensor is based on proven ultrasonic technology from Gill Instruments. This 2-axis ultrasonic wind sensor is maintenance-free and easy to install and, combined with the WS-15A display, SpaceLogger.W10 and WeatherFile.com Web Site, delivers the ultimate in highly accurate 'plug and go' wind speed and direction monitoring.

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The WindSonic solid-state ultrasonic technology provides many advantages over conventional cup anemometers and vane sensors. Having no moving parts that can jam, break or wear out makes it the sensor of choice for harsh weather conditions and remote locations when you need to know you can just fit and leave without fear of failure or damage that occurs with traditional cup and vane sensors.

The perfect choice for remote, offshore or long term monitoring, the corrosion free exterior eliminates costly maintenance and servicing procedures.

There are four sensor options with different outputs

WindSonic Option 1

Sensors that only transmit using RS232 standard communications are suitable when the connection distance between the sensor and the WS-15A display/SpaceLogger W10/PC is less than 20 metres and the electrical environment is benign.

WindSonic Option 2

Sensors use the more robust RS422/RS485/NMEA communication standard, used for connection distances in excess of 20 metres, or where there may be heavy duty electrical equipment being switched or in operation in the vicinity.

WindSonic Option 3

Sensors use RS232 or RS422/RS485/NMEA and analogue outputs, used when an analogue output is specifically required. Note if used with our WS15A display output must be set to RS422/485. Analogue output type may be selected from 0-5V, 0-20mA or 4-20mA.

WindSonic Option 4

Sensors have SD1-12 output. Features include power power consumption (<2mA in standby) and a vector or scalar rolling average function providing 1 minute average and 1 minute max. speed with associated direction.

WindSonic sensor measures

• Wind speed
• Wind direction

Units of measure

• m/s (default), knots, km/h, mph, ft/min
• degrees


• Speed ±2% @12m/s
• Direction ±3° @12m/s


• Speed 0 to 60 m/s (116knots, 134 mph)
• Direction 0 to 359 degrees (no dead band)

WindSonic ultrasonic sensor benefits

• No moving parts
• Low start up speed (0.01 m/s)
• True 0 to 360° operation
• Single unit for both wind speed and direction
• 4 sensor options depending on output
• Lightweight
• Low power consumption
• Robust, high strength construction
• Corrosion free exterior
• No need for on-site calibration or maintenance
• 2 year warranty

The WindSonic sensors are ideal for use with our WS-15A display unit providing a local IP67 rated backlit display for a 'real time' view of wind speed and direction. Our SpaecLogger W10 (WindLogger) or SpaceLogger W8.Wireless data loggers deliver compact and affordable data acquisition. The SpaceLogger W8.Wireless logger allows live transfer of the data for view on our Weather File website.

A WindSonic connector is required for wiring to the sensor.

We can provide a mounting mast and configuration cable (for use with RS232) to assist installation.

Configuring the WindSonic Sensor

WindSonic RS232 Configuration Cable

WindSonic can be configured using the free software provided to select the output rate and units of measurement that suit the application.

WindSonic automatically transmits an anemometer status code with each output to indicate its operating status. This ensures accuracy and reliability.

To change the setting of a WindSonic sensor from the default factory settings, it is possible to communicate with the sensor direct from a PC using HyperTerminal (or similar terminal emulation package).

Use the WindSonic RS232 Configuration Cable for easy connection to a PC and power supply.

How Ultrasonic Wind Sensors Work

The WindSonic sensor uses the time of flight method of air velocity measurement.

There are four ultrasonic transducers arranged as two pairs at right angles to each other. Each pair is used to measure the component of the wind in the direction between the transducers.

For example if one pair is on a North South line and the other pair is on an East West line then the North South component VN and the East West component VE are measured. These are then combined to give the actual wind speed and direction.

Wind angle  A = arctan ( VE / VN )

Wind speed  S = sqroot ( VE 2 + VN 2 )

To look at how the component measurements are done we will take the example of the North South transducer pair:

A pulse of ultrasonic sound is transmitted by the North transducer and the time T1 it takes to travel to the South transducer is accurately measured. The time T2 is then measured for an ultrasonic pulse to travel in the opposite direction from the South transducer to the North transducer. These times are affected by the wind blowing along the line between the transducers. For example if there is some wind blowing from a Northerly direction, then the time taken for the ultrasonic pulse to travel from N to S will be shorter than from S to N.

The time for the pulse to travel from N to S is given by

T1 = L / ( C + VN )

and the time for the pulse to travel from N to S is given by

T2 = L / ( C - VN )

L is the distance between the transducers and
C the speed of sound

From this the northerly component of the wind can be found from

VN = L ( 1/T1 - 1/T2 ) / 2

and the speed of sound from

C = L ( 1/T1 + 1/T2 ) / 2

Default Serial Output from WindSonic

The WindSonic default serial output is as follows:


Q is the anemometer identifier. Can be set to any character Q to Z
DDD wind direction in degrees relative to sensor axis
SSS.SS wind speed
U Units M m/s, N knots, P mph, K km per hour, F ft per min.
AA status 00 ok, 01 axis 1 failed, 02 axis 2 failed, 04 axis 1 & 2 failed, 08 NVM error, 09 ROM error
CC checksum Exclusive OR of all characters between <STX> and <ETX> as a two character hexadecimal value.
<STX> is the ASCII character with a value of 2
<ETX> is the ASCII character with a value of 3
<CR> is the ASCII carriage return character with a value of 13
<LF> is the ASCII line feed character with a value of 10

Data is output at 9600 baud with 8 data bits and no parity.

Details of other output options and configuration instructions are given in the user manual supplied with WindSonic.

Physical Dimensions 142mm diameter x 160mm
Weight 0.5 kg
Mounting Pipe mounting 1.75 in (44.45mm) diameter
Material LURAN UV stabilised black thermoplastic
Performance Wind speed Range 0 to 60 m/s (116 knots, 134 mph)
Accuracy ±2 % @ 12m/s
Resolution 0.01 m/s
Threshold 0.01 m/s (0.02 mph)
Response time 0.25 sec
Wind direction Range 0 to 359° (no dead band)
Accuracy ±3° @12 m/s
Response time 0.25 sec
Outputs WindSonic Option 1 RS232
WindSonic Option 2 RS232
NMEA 0183
WindSonic Option 3 RS232
Analogue 0-5V, 0-20mA or 4-20mA
NMEA 0183
Output rate 0.25, 0.5, 1,2 or 4 outputs per second (Hz)
Parameters output Polar wind speed and direction or U & V Vectors, anemometer status
Units kt, m/s, km/h, mph, ft/min
Serial output format Polar (speed and direction)
UV (2 axis, signed speed) or
Marine NMEA 0183 v3 sentence MWV
Serial output baud rate 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200 or 38400
  click on the Overview tab for details of the default serial output
Power Power requirements WindSonic 1 & 2 5 to 30 V dc
WindSonic 3 7 to 30 V dc
  From 5.5 mA @ 12 V
Start up time <5 seconds
Environmental Temperature Operating range: -35°C to +70°C
Storage range: -40°C to +80°C
Humidity Operating range: <5% to 100% RH
Protection Class IP65
EMC EN 61326: 1998
Miscellaneous MTBF 15 years
Warranty 2 years
Quality system Manufactured within ISO9001 quality system

The manufacturer reserves the right to amend the specification and therefore the information in this document may be subject to change

Data sheets
WindSonic Sensor Data Sheet
Wind System Data Sheet
WindSonic RS232 Configuration Cable Data Sheet
User Manual
WindSonic User Manual - Issue 20 (Current Version)
WindSonic User Manual - Issue 18
WindSonic User Manual - Issue 16
WindSonic User Manual - Issue 15 (units before serial no 08100001)

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