Bristol Industrial & Research Associates Ltd (Biral)

Advanced Meteorological Sensors for Aviation Including Visibility and Lightning Warning

Bristol Industrial & Research Associates Ltd (Biral) was established in 1975 and is a global supplier of meteorological sensors for aviation. Our scope extends from sensors to measure wind speed and direction, temperature, precipitation, solar radiation to visibility-present weather sensors and thunderstorm detectors.

Biral’s SWS and VPF range of visibility and present weather sensors are used throughout the world as part of aviation ground control and meteorological monitoring systems. These sensors along with the ambient light sensor form the core of RVR monitoring systems used to control the safe landing of aircraft in reduced visibility conditions. Our present weather sensors provide automated precipitation classification and monitoring that forms a vital part of the METAR signals broadcast to aircraft.

Smaller airfields without the need for RVR may cluster a set of sensors around a met-tower whilst larger airports have sensors at both ends of a runway. The largest applications can have three sets of sensors per runway in addition to a dedicated set for meteorological observation and forecasting. The Biral sensor range is perfectly suited to the varying needs of all these installations.

Biral visibility and present weather sensors have a range of features that reduce maintenance to a minimum. All Biral sensors have simple to use field test and calibration kits, allowing the operator to maintain a high degree of confidence in the measurements without the disruption and expense of removal for offsite calibration.

The detection and reporting of thunderstorms is important in the aviation industry, supporting both the safety of ground operations and the provision of meteorological data to aircraft and forecasting authorities. Our Thunderstorm Detector  has been developed to be compliant with FAA regulations for lightning detection systems used at airfields.

The BTD-300 Thunderstorm Detector is a standalone sensor that reliably detects the presence of all forms of lightning to a range of 83km. The distinctive quasi electrostatic operating principle gives the detector a very low false alarm rate and the ability to warn of the risk of overhead lightning, which network systems are not able to do.

To view our range of meteorological sensors for aviation visit


VPF-750 Visibility & Present Weather Sensor

The VPF-750 Visibility and Present Weather sensor is the most advanced in Biral’s product range. Its enhanced performance allows the reporting of freezing precipitation in addition to the weather codes typically available from a forward …

Visibility & Present Weather Sensor SWS-250

The SWS-250 is optimised for use in aviation applications where both visibility and extended present and past weather information is required. The sensor measures: visibility (MOR, EXCO and TEXCO), fog, haze, drizzle, snow, hail and other …

Thunderstorm (lightning) Detector

The BTD-300 Thunderstorm Detector is a standalone sensor that reliably detects the presence of all forms of lightning to a range of 83km. The unique quasi electrostatic operating principle gives the detector a very low …

ALS-2 Ambient Light Sensor

The ALS-2 Ambient Light Sensor is designed to measure background luminance as part of a Runway Visual Range (RVR) system. Mounted alongside the runway the ambient light sensor is often deployed with a visibility meter …

Company News

Biral to install its SWS-250 weather sensors across Greece after major project win with the Hellenic National Meteorological Service

Leading meteorological expert, Biral, has today announced that it is to install 80 of its SWS-250 weather sensors across Greece after winning a major project with the Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Biral will work with Microstep …

Biral Returns to Asia Climate Forum for 2022

Meteorological specialists Biral is returning to the Asia Climate Forum in Singapore this month to showcase a number of its technically advanced meteorological products at its first exhibition in two years. Now in its seventh year, …

Biral sensors chosen for Croatian National Weather Observation Network modernisation project

Leading meteorological expert, Biral, is supplying 34 of its VPF-750 sensors to the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service, a government body that supports the country’s economic and sustainable development. The strategic modernization of the National Weather …

Biral strengthens development team with new lead engineer

Leading meteorological experts, Biral, has announced the expansion of its engineering team with the appointment of Henry Olver as its new Lead Engineer.  Henry has a background in Research and Development, an area in which he …

Lightning Warning on Offshore Wind Farm Electrical Substations

Meteorological expert Biral has worked closely with Netherlands-based Observator Instruments, one of the world’s leading offshore wind farm operators, to install and test the BTD-350 lightning warning system in the challenging environment of the North …

Biral and MicroStep-MIS complete a national modernisation to 16 Nepalese airports

Over the past two years, meteorological experts Biral and MicroStep-MIS have been updating and upgrading all of the national airports across Nepal to meet the latest international standards and take advantage of the latest innovations …

Biral and Microstep-MIS Gain Russian Certification for Meteorological Sensors 

Biral and Microstep-MIS are pleased to announce that on February 3 2021, the Russian office of MicroStep-MIS received the certificate of state registration of measuring instruments for visibility and present  weather sensors, issued by the …

Biral reflects on 2020 with team expansions and global projects

Meteorological experts Biral has reflected on 2020 as a challenging but productive year that saw the company announce a series of new products as a result of its forward research and development programme. In the …


Unit 8, Harbour Road Trading Estate
United Kingdom
BS20 7JB
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