Wind Speed and Direction Monitoring System

In order to operate a vessel, the crew would require information regarding wind, air temperature, humidity, and pressure. Wind measurement can be used for navigational purposes and also for the safety of the vessel. In a vessel, the direction and speed of the wind are important for the safety of the ship. Wind measurement is really important for ships that carry aircraft. Because while landing the aircraft or during the take-off, there could be a lot of problems and it would be unsafe. So accurate measurement of the wind is required for a vessel that carries aircraft.

The flow of the wind and speed would vary when it moves around the ship. Mostly there would be two or more anemometers to measure the speed of wind in a vessel. In case the ship is sailing through a storm then it would affect the handling quality of the ship. If there are many superstructures in the ship then it would badly affect the ship during a storm. There would be a lot of surface current if the wind speed is high. The wind drag on the ship is also dependent on wind speed, so measuring the direction and speed of wind is really important in ships.

How wind force would affect the ships?

The direction and speed of the wind would affect the ship’s course. The stability of the vessel would be affected by the wind current and also the air pressure. The wind speed and pressure would make an impact on vessel navigation, voyage time, etc. The direction of the wind can carry the ship to a storm and this would be dangerous. While mooring a vessel wind is a natural force that would act on the moored vessel and this is also another reason to check the speed and pressure of the wind. A ship must be moored in a way that it can resist natural forces.

The wind force that acts on the vessel would be depended on the velocity of the wind and also the area of the vessel which is exposed to it. So if the exposed area of the vessel is more, then the wind effect would be high too. A vessel would be least affected by the wind force when it heads towards the wind and low towards the water. A cargo ship would affect the most if it is in light condition. The force of the wind would affect more on a large vessel more than a small vessel in a similarly loaded condition.

There are other factors that also determine how the wind would affect the vessel. Magnitude and angle of the wind and also the shape of the area in which the wind is acting. Wind velocity can also affect the ship at berth and it can cause the direction change of the vessel.

Types of wind force that would affect the vessel

Longitudinal force

This is the type of wind force that would act parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tanker.

Transverse force

The transverse force would act perpendicular to the longitudinal axis.


What is the major instrument that is utilized to measure the speed of wind in a ship?


Anemometer is utilized to measure the speed of the wind and by slight modification, it can be used to determine the direction of the wind. We can utilize an anemometer for proper navigation of the ships. The anemometer sensor would determine the wind passing and also there is a vane anemometer that can be utilized to determine the direction of the wind. Mostly this device would be composed of a propeller and a tail so the wind speed would be determined by the speed of the propeller. The direction of the wind can be determined by checking the tail.

The anemometer which is utilized in ships would be a propeller vane or cup vane. So more than one anemometer would be utilized and it would be placed at different sections in the vessel. The measuring results will be transmitted to the control desks. The wind monitoring system would be composed of the sensor and the sensor cable, signal transmitter, display, etc.

The anemometer or the measuring instrument would transmit the data to the display control of the ship. In case the sensor is mounted in a place where there are a lot of vibrations then ultrasonic anemometers can be utilized and it doesn’t have any moving parts. So ultrasonic sensor would transmit the direction and speed of the wind based on the ultrasonic principle. The wind monitoring system would display the speed and direction of the wind based on the speed and course of the ship.

So in case of any emergency situation, the wind speed and direction would be displayed in the operator’s display. Thus the operator would be able to stop any operations on board such as crane operations. Cruise ships and other vessels utilize the wind monitoring system so that course correction can be done based on the data.

How to install the wind measurement sensor in a ship?

While installing the wind sensor it must be placed far from the large objects because it can affect the result of the measurement. Mostly it would be really difficult, so the wind monitoring system must be placed above the top of a superstructure in the vessel. While installing the device in a superstructure we must make sure that the superstructure doesn’t have any side face. If the superstructure has any side face then it would affect the measurement values regarding the wind direction, speed, etc. There could be cables from the sensor to transmit the signal and these cables should be waterproof.

What are the major factors that should be considered while choosing a wind measurement system?

  • Power supply
  • Power consumption
  • Temperature range
  • Electrical connection
  • Protection
  • Velocity measurement range
  • Linearity
  • Display
  • Measurement range of direction
  • Accuracy


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