Present Weather Sensor – Model 5438

SKU: 5438-00 Categories: , Tag:

The Present Weather Sensor – Model 5438-00 is a fully automated instrument that provides accurate visibility, present weather, and precipitation measurements in a single sensor.


  • No Field Calibration Required
  • Single Rugged Package
  • Unaffected by Dust or Build-up on Lenses
  • Built-in Self Diagnostics & Testing

The Present Weather Sensor – Model 5438 is a fully automated instrument that provides accurate visibility, present weather, and precipitation measurements in a single sensor. The Present Weather Sensor use all digital signal processing (DSP) for no-drift, high accuracy results. Applications include using the Present Weather Sensor at airports, along roadways by regional and/or state transportation departments, and road weather research facilities.

The Present Weather Sensors measure visibility and detect and quantify rain, snow, drizzle, freezing, and mixed precipitation conditions. The Present Weather Sensor is designed for year-round continuous operation in all types of climates and requires very little maintenance.

Additional Present Weather Sensor features include a built-in self diagnostics and testing system, enhanced EMI and surge protection, and the capability of reporting over fifty National Weather Service/World Meteorological codes.


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Snow/Rain Accumulation Range 0 to 39.4 in (0.001 to 999.999 mm)
Snow/Rain Accumulation Resolution 0.000039 in (0.001 mm)
Rain Dynamic Range 0.0039 to 118.1 in (0.1 to 3000 mm/hr)
Rain Measurement Accuracy 5% Accumulation
Snow Dynamic Range 0.00039 to 11.8 in (0.01 to 300 mm/hr)
Snow Measurement Accuracy 10% Accumulation
Hail/Ice Pellet Reporting Accuracy Correct ID >90% of Time*
Visibility/RVR Dynamic Range 0.0006 to 6.2+ Mi (0.001 to 10+ km) (Extended ranges available)
Visibility/RVR Accuracy 10% – 3.1 Mi (5 km), 15% – 6.2+ Mi (10+ km)
Visibility/RVR Time Constant 3 minute harmonic
Visibility/RVR Contrast Threshold 5%
Ambient Light Dynamic Range 0 to 9,990 Candles/m2
Measurement Technique Scintillation w/Optical Forward Scatter
Data Reporting Update Rate 1 minute
Present Weather Codes Reported +50 NWS & WMO Codes
Type Identification Rain, Snow, Drizzle, Mixed, Hail, and Ice Pellets*
Signal Output RS-232 ASCII, Simple Polled Protocol
Operating Voltage 10 to 18 VDC
Current Draw 3 A nominal
Cable 25 ft (7.7 m)
Enclosure NEMA 4
Operating Temperature -40° to 122° F (-40° to 50° C)
Operating Humidity 0 to 100%
Dimensions Model 5438-00: 35x5x11 in (89x13x28 cm)

Model 5438-05: 34x4x9 in (86.5x9x21.6 cm)

Weight Model 5438-00: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)

Model 5438-05: 5 lbs (2.3 kg)

Shipping Weight Model 5438-00: 15 lbs (6.8 kg)

Model 5438-05: 8 lbs (3.6 kg)


*References to acoustic/hail & ice particles requires optional Model 5438-05 add-on.

Ordering Guide

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Model 5438-00 RWIS Present Weather and Visibility Sensor





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Model 5438-05 Hail and Ice Pellet Add-on Sensor (Requires 110/220 VAC, 100 VA)
Model 5438-01 NEMA 4 Power Supply/Junction Box (120/240 VAC; 50/60 Hz)