The sensor is typically installed on a tower or pole near the side of the roadway. It uses its 42° forward scatter angle for optimal precipitation and visibility measurement while reducing lens contamination and clogging from debris. The sensor identifies precipitation particles from their scattering properties and fall speeds, and combines this with a temperature measurement to identify the weather type.
The Present Weather Sensor incorporates low-power dew prevention heaters, as well as higher-power anti-icing heaters for the hoods as standard. These heaters are automatically controlled to ensure operation in all weather, or they can be disabled individually to save power.