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The MetService designed mSTAR AWS is used at some 46 sites throughout New Zealand and was used as the base platform for the mSTAR-SHIP AWS.

The mSTAR is built around the LP3500 or ‘FOX’ (512K Flash ROM/512K SRAM) which is a single board computer (93 x 66 x 11mm) based around the RABBIT 3000 processor.

All mSTAR AWS report data at one minute intervals using GPRS cellular communications. The mSTAR AWS was adapted for shipboard use by the inclusion of a Garmin GPS unit for computation of station location, course and speed, and ‘True’ wind speed and direction.

The mSTAR-SHIP AWS uses ship’s power. The messages are sent in proprietary format from the ship to MetService, where they are converted into hourly coded reports in FM13 SHIP code and distributed on the GTS.

The mSTAR-SHIP AWS uses the following sensors:

Vaisala PTB220 barometer

Vaisala WMS301 wind speed and direction

Vaisala HMP45 humidity sensor

YSI temperature probe for air temperature