Stage 4: Transition to Scale
The 3D-printed weather station has been deployed as pilot studies in the countries of Zambia, Kenya, Barbados, and Curacao. The planned release of open source design documentation is planned for late 2017/early 2018.
The 3D printed weather stations are currently being evaluated through pilot studies at the Meteorological Services in Zambia, Kenya, and Curacao.
The 3D printed weather stations have been extensively tested at the NOAA testbed Site in Sterling, Virginia and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. The stations have been compared to commerical reference sensors. The results are well-within the accepted ranges of measurement error.
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Countries Implemented In
Mission and Vision
The target to provide this innovation as a possible solution to improve observation networks in the least developed, data sparse regions of the world. The low-cost and build it yourself aspect make it sustainable in these regions.
A high quality surface weather station that can be manufactured in about a week, at a cost of only $200-400 USD, using locally sourced materials, microsensor technology, low-cost single board computers, and a 3D printer. The 3D printed automatic weather station sensors measure pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and light. The system uses a Raspberry Pi single-board computer for data acquisition, data processing, and communications.
How does your innovation work?
The 3D printed weather station integrates microsensors built into 3D-printed housing framework that collect data on a small Raspberry Pi Computer. The data are processed and set to a webserver using wireless or cell modem technologies. The observations can be viewed in real-time and downloaded for use in decision support applications.
The benefits of the low-cost 3D printed automatic weather station system is that it uses uses low-cost, reliable micro-sensors and computer technology. It can be built and assembled locally by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) or bout other location agencies. What is unique about the innovation is that allows local agencies to take ownership in building and maintaining observation network and provides sustainability for long-term operations of networks which is critical for monitoring of high impact weather such as flash floods, droughts, and heat waves. Most weather stations are expensive and hard to maintain when components fail. Our innovations allows for local agencies to "print and replace" components when the fail or are damaged. It will improve global monitoring of weather conditions in least developed, most data sparse regions of the world.
Planned Goals and Milestones
The plan is to release the designs, documentation, and training material as an open source resource. This will allow individuals and other agencies to start making and distributing their on 3D printed automatic weather station networks.
Our next steps is to complete the documentation and provide an initial release to the community. We are also planning to build additional sensors for soil, stream flow, and air quality monitoring to expand the innovations to all environmental monitoring applications.