How do you keep a 100 year old climatological database consistent?

Upgrade! |  Fischer-Porter Upgrade

Fischer-Porter upgrade unitOnline  —  The US National Weather Service has been keeping domestic weather records for over 100 years. With climate change concerns and an apparent increase in significant weather events, we are now seeing how important it is to have those records.

To help keep that data consistent in terms of measurement type and technique, Coastal has just completed shipping 1,000 Fischer-Porter upgrade units to the National Weather Service.

This device (pictured left) replaces the reliable, but outdated, mechanical paper tape punch device that previously recorded the amount of rainfall at a given location.

The rain gauge is a “weighing” style that captures all precipitation in a bucket which is simultaneously weighed and recorded by a mechanical punch mechanism that punches a hole in a paper tape.

The previous device relied on springs to weigh the water, and gears and mechanics to punch holes in the tape.

Coastal’s upgrade replaces the springs with a strain gauge (so as not to interfere with the method or style of precipitation catchment) and electronics to record and display the amount of precipitation.

It also has 1 gigabyte of removable memory that is essentially a temperature-extended USB drive.

“The National Weather Service Fischer-Porter project is a great example of how the lifetime of legacy systems can be extended through technology upgrades–avoiding costly system replacements” said Coastal’s CEO, Mike Baron.

The upgraded systems are expected to be operational for at least another 15 years… and then–who knows–maybe another upgrade!

Coastal Environmental Systems designs, engineers, manufactures, and installs professional weather stations. Our environmental monitoring systems have been extensively deployed worldwide, many in extreme and demanding environments such as Antarctica, or onboard combat-class US Navy vessels. Since our founding in 1981, we’ve earned the trust of a long list of domestic and international customers, including the US government, fire departments, first response teams, and industry professionals.Coastal Environmental Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Campbell Scientific, Inc. (Logan, Utah). With over 1,200 installations worldwide, Coastal’s automated weather observing systems (AWOS) operate on every continent, providing weather data at airfields and heliports (both onshore and offshore). Another innovative product from Coastal is its portable WEATHERPAK® weather station, which has very low power requirements, is quick to assemble, and easy to pack, carry, and ship. Visit them at the 2018 AMS meeting (

Coastal Environmental Systems, Inc.
820 First Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134 USA

Phone: 206-682-6048 or 800-488-8291
Fax: 206-682-5658

GSA: GS-07F-003DA (Info)
CAGE Code: 39825

For more information, contact:

Kevin North, Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Coastal Environmental Systems
p. 206.315.4900