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.
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.
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.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
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.
The 3D printed weather stations are currently being evaluated through pilot studies at the Meteorological Services in Zambia, Kenya, and Curacao.
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
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.