Andy Wilson

Andy is a design and engineering scientist within the facilities group. He works on the design, manufacture, maintenance and operation of the Met Office instrumentation aboard the FAAM BAe146 research aircraft.

Andy's areas of expertise include:

  • aircraft-based instrumentation;
  • 3D CAD modelling;
  • design and engineering.

Current activities

The Facilities Group of Observation Based Research has responsibility for all the Met Office equipment used on board the FAAM Bae146 aircraft. This list is not exhaustive but includes instruments such as the Shortwave Spectrometer (SWS), Spectral Hemispheric Irradiance Measurements (SHIMs), Fluorescence Water Vapour sensor (FWVS), Counterflow Virtual Impactor (CVI), Imaging Infra-Red Cameras (IIR), Wet Nephelometer and the large radiometers MARSS and DEIMOS. Occasional support and assistance is also provided to our colleagues at FAAM for the core suite of instrumentation fitted to the aircraft.

At present Andy is heavily involved in the design, development, and manufacture of an Ice Nuclei Counter (INC) instrument. The data from this instrument will be used to improve the parametrized representations of the ice nucleating processes in the Unified Model.

Andy is also currently developing a transfer standard for SWS/SHIMS instrument that will allow calibrations of these instruments while fitted to the aircraft.

Career background

Andy joined the Met Office in September 1990 and spent 6 years in frontline meteorology at Royal Air Force stations in the UK and overseas. In May 1996 he undertook an 8 month technical conversion course at the Met Office College and transferred to the engineering wing of the organisation. After 3 years in surface sensor development he transferred to the Meteorological
Research Flight (MRF) at Farnborough, Hampshire and worked in the instrument section mostly on the calibration of instruments and data recording systems on the Met Office C130 aircraft that was in use then. In 2003 Andy relocated with the Met Office to Exeter and continued his work on aircraft instrumentation in the newly named Observation Based Research (OBR) group and with the new FAAM aircraft. Much of Andy's current work involves the use of Solidworks CAD software in the design of new instruments and components.

Andy has been involved with a number of field measurement campaigns with the  FAAM aircraft. These include ADRIEX (2004), CAPEX (2006), GERBIL (2007), COPS (2007) and MEVEX (2009).

External recognition

Andy holds an Honorary Appointment at the University of Exeter for his work with the School of Engineering, Computers and Mathematics (SECAM).

Last updated: 8 April 2014