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

WindSonic M Wind Sensors

Product code: WSM

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The WindSonic wind speed and direction sensor is based on proven ultrasonic technology from Gill Instruments.

WindSonic M is a robust ultrasonic wind speed and direction sensor with aluminium alloy construction and optional heating system. The sensor is solid-state with no moving parts, using ultrasonic measurement technology to detect wind speed and direction at speeds up to 60m/s (134mph).

The robust aluminium alloy housing is hard-anodised to ensure suitability in harsh marine environments, and the optional heating system allows operation down to -40°C.

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WindSonic M has been designed to comply with all the applicable sections of BS EN 60945 standard for 'exposed equipment'. These include but are not limited to; corrosion (salt mist), vibration, radiated and conducted emissions and water ingress. In addition the unit has been designed to withstand hail or falling ice to UL 2218 Class 1.

WindSonic M provides a marine-standard NMEA 0183 output, with options for RS232, 422 and 485 outputs also available to ensure compatibility with most systems. A single 9-way connector and three mounting holes for attachment to a 1.75" pipe ensure installation is straightforward. With no moving parts to wear out and no routine calibration required, WindSonic M has a very low maintenance overhead.

This sensor is recommended for use in harsh environmental industrial conditions and is particularly suited to marine and land based installations.

The WindSonic sensors are ideal for use with our WS-15A display unit and our WindLogger data logger.

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.

WindSonic M Ultrasonic Sensor Benefits

• Hard Anodised Aluminium Alloy Construction
• -40°C Operation (with heated option)
• Impact Resistance to UL2218 Class 1
• Solid-state technology - no moving parts
• 0-60m/s wind speed
• 0-359° wind direction
• NMEA Output
• Optional RS232, RS422 and RS485 Outputs
• Single unit for both wind speed and direction
• No need for on-site calibration or maintenance
• 2 year warranty

How Does It Work?

To find out how this ultrasonic anemometer works, click here

What does it output?

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.

For details of the WindSonic default serial output, click here

WindSonic M 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)

Typical applications

Advantages of WindSonic ultrasonic sensors over conventional anemometers:

• No moving parts - no bearings to wear or require replacement
• Very low start up speed
• 0 to 360° operation - no dead band
• Single robust sensor
• Designed to withstand a 1m drop test
• No calibration
• Low cost of ownership
• 2 year warranty

Configuring the WindSonic M Sensor

WindSonic RS232 Configuration Cable

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 M

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 0.9 kg
Mounting Pipe mounting 1.75 in (44.45mm) diameter
Material Al. Alloy 6061 T6 with hard anodised finish
Performance Wind speed Range 0 to 60 m/s (116 knots, 134 mph)
Accuracy ±2 % @ 12m/s
Resolution 0.01 m/s (0.02 knots)
Threshold 0.01 m/s
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 Options RS232
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 knots 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 Anemometer 5 to 30 V dc (5.5mA @ 12V)
Heating (optional) 24 V ac/dc (3.5A @ 24V)
  Please consult the technical manual for optimum heating supply voltage
Start up time <5 seconds
Environmental Temperature Operating range: -35°C to +70°C (without heating)
Operating range: -40°C to +70°C (with heating)
Storage range: -40°C to +80°C
Humidity Operating range: <5% to 100% RH
Protection Class IP66 EN 60529 : 1992
EMC EN 61326 : 2006 & BSEN 60945 : 2002
Impact resistance UL2218 Class 1
Compass safe distance BSEN 60945 : 2002
Miscellaneous 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 M Sensor Data Sheet
User Manual
WindSonic M User Manual - issue 1

Case Study
Our following Case Studies give an overview of how this product applies to different sectors.
Please click on the title below to read the full case study.

Emergency Services
Environmental Monitoring (with SpaceLogger Data Loggers)
Environmental Monitoring (with Wind Systems)
Health & Safety Monitoring
Marine, Ships & Harbours
Outdoor Sports
Tower Cranes
Transport Safety

Customer Support