Belfort Instrument Company maintains more than a century of experience designing and developing weather measurement tools for use in multiple fields, including meteorology and aviation. Over the last 100-plus years, Belfort Instrument Company has worked extensively with the National Weather Service (NWS) to outfit weather observatories and laboratories and, beginning in the 1990s, to research automated weather observation systems.

Run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the NWS provides weather-, hydrologic-, and climate-related forecasting and warnings to citizens of the United States and its territories. The NWS formed out of the U.S. Weather Bureau, which was established in 1870.

At the NWS, recent federal sequestration has forced the agency to find ways to cut approximately 8.2 percent of its operating budget. To achieve this reduction, NOAA initially proposed mandatory furlough days for the roughly 12,000 NWS employees. However, after devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri, NOAA canceled these furloughs, stating that the reduced workweeks threatened the organization’s ability to carry out its key objectives. Now, NOAA says it will submit a plan to Congress that proposes cutting $50 million from its geostationary weather satellite initiative. The satellite program would launch 12 satellites into orbit to collect atmospheric data above hard-to-reach locations, such as the poles and oceans.


Source AWOS, Automated Weather Observation System, Carolina Medical Center

Belfort Instrument Company, one of the country’s oldest meteorological sensor and meteorological system manufactures, has sold their AWOS AV to Me Center Air, and Carolinas Health Systems. The contract was announced at the 2013 Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

MedCenter Air will install the AWOS system in March at the Carolinas Healthcare facility in Charlotte, NC to support their HEMS operations.

The Belfort Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS AV) provides pilots with Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Wind Gusts, Temperature, Humidity, Dewpoint, Altimeter Setting, Density Altitude, and visibility. When installed, the Carolinas Healthcare AWOS information will be available via VHF broadcast, telephone, as well as over the internet.

When lives are on the line, minutes can mean life or death. That’s where MedCenter Air makes a difference. With ground transport, helicopter and fixed wing transport, Carolinas HealthCare System’s MedCenter Air offers comprehensive critical care transport services making access to the best care just minutes away from anywhere in our region.

“The Belfort AWOS AV is ideally suited for the hospital’s elevated heliports at the Carolinas Healthcare hospital complex, ”, according to Martin J. Fisher, Program Aviation Manager, he continues; adding the AWOS and thereby providing real-time weather enhances the safety of our flight operations.”

“The purchase of this system demonstrates MedCenter Air’s continual commitment to safety” states Jason Schwebach Program Director for Med Center Air.

Belfort Instrument Company has been a leading provider of weather instruments to government, professional meteorology and aviation markets for over 130 years. Detailed information can be found at

The Belfort Instrument Company was founded in 1876 in Baltimore, Maryland by Julien Friez. His vision was to furnish customers with instruments of uniform excellence and of highest reliability at fair prices so as to set the Standard of Measurement for the industry.

Belfort Instrument forged its leadership role in the development of meteorological instruments through extensive cooperation with the then newly formed U.S. Weather Bureau. Through these efforts, the Belfort Observatory became the first meteorological Observatory and Instrument Laboratory in the United States by 1896.

Over the years, Belfort Instrument products have been deployed in mission critical applications in virtually all corners of the globe and beyond. From providing wind sensors for the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC to the development of mapping instruments in support of early efforts to map the surface of the moon, Belfort Instrument has been at the forefront of environmental measurement and is a leader in the design, manufacture and maintenance of advanced environmental measurement systems

During the 1990’s, Belfort Instrument began its research efforts around the challenges of automated weather observations. When the U.S. National Weather Service announced plans to automate routine surface weather observations, Belfort responded to the challenge and demonstrated its leadership role by designing and qualifying three new sensors for the extensive ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System) program. These advanced ASOS sensors have been deployed in over 1200 locations throughout the world. These sensors have dramatically improved system efficiency and improved the overall quality and timeliness of routine observations.

Having celebrated its 125th anniversary, Belfort Instrument has extended its leadership position beyond its traditional meteorological focus over the last decade into other exciting markets while remaining loyal to its founders vision for quality, reliability, product support and value. Belfort Instrument’s Baltimore facility is currently comprised of the following product divisions:

Meteorological Products

Under the Belfort Instrument brand, the company offers a broad range of highly reliable meteorological/environmental instruments that accurately measure visibility, wind, precipitation, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and ceiling height as well as other standard meteorological parameters. These products serve a worldwide audience in the professional meteorology, aviation, maritime, and highway safety markets.

Belfort AWOS AV – Digital Weather Systems

Under the Belfort Instrument brand, the company launched an advanced, patented weather system design to address the urgent need for delivering real-time, mission critical weather information via wireless transmission. Belfort AWOS AV provides high quality, up-to-the-minute weather conditions to ground personnel and aircraft operators resulting in enhanced aircraft/flight safety and operational performance. This scalable, fully automated system includes all the hardware/software needed for a comprehensive data acquisition and distribution solution delivered through various medium including PC terminal, telephone, Internet and VHF radio transmissions and is comprised of key sensors designed and manufactured and/or distributed by Belfort.

Summary of technical experience with NAS equipment
Belfort Instrument Company has been involved in the design, development and production of NAS system hardware, firmware and software as a primary business activity since the company’s founding in 1876. The following represents significant programs in which Belfort has played a significant role along with a listing of the NAS system components supplied and supported.

Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) Program

The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) is an automated observing system being sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Weather Service (NWS) and the Department of Defense (DOD). ASOS provides weather observations, which include: temperature, dew point, wind, altimeter setting, visibility, sky condition, and precipitation. The FAA has sponsored 569 ASOS installation sites and 313 have been sponsored by NWS at airports throughout the country.

US Air Force OS-21/FSB Fixed Base Airport Weather System

Belfort Instrument Company also supplies and supports the visibility, runway visual range, and ambient light sensors for the US Air Force OS-21/FSB fixed base airport weather system. This system, to be installed at over 200 airports worldwide, represents the latest in the application of COTS sensor technology to sophisticated weather systems.

Belfort AWOS AV

Several years ago, Belfort launched its revolutionary Belfort AWOS AV in a bid to expand its presence in the aviation weather products and services market. This system was originally designed to bring aviation grade weather reporting capabilities to general aviation airports unable to afford the current line of FAA approved Automated Weather Observation (AWOS) products. The product has enjoyed strong market acceptance due to its unique wireless architecture which is designed to significantly reduce both installation and maintenance costs. As well, Belfort AWOS AV’s digital architecture and Internet based monitoring capability combined with its “plug and play” design enable the end user to significantly reduce its ongoing maintenance, support and training costs.

Belfort AWOS AV provides high quality, up-to-the-minute weather conditions to ground personnel and pilots through several media options resulting in enhanced aircraft/light safety and operational performance. Belfort has successfully integrated the latest web, wireless and voice recognition technologies to deliver real time, local weather information automatically over UNICOM or discreet frequencies, telephone, Internet, or on its wireless handheld device.

All of our recent systems embody sophisticated built in diagnostic and fault isolation software and firmware algorithms.

Belfort’s AWOS AV was recently approved as an AWOS by the FAA. Belfort Instrument Company continues to support all sensors and systems with inspection, testing, repair and upgrade activities.