4A.3 Development of Innovative Technology to Provide Low-Cost Surface Atmospheric Observations in Under-developed Data sparse Regions

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 4:00 PM
Conference Center: Yakima 1 (Washington State Convention Center )
Paul A. Kucera, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Steinson

Accurate and reliable real-time monitoring and dissemination of observations of surface weather conditions is critical for a variety of societal applications.  Applications that provide local and regional information about temperature, precipitation, moisture, and winds, for example, are important for agriculture, water resource monitoring, health, and monitoring of hazard weather conditions.  In many regions of the World, surface weather stations are sparsely located and/or of poor quality.  Existing stations have often been sited incorrectly, not well-maintained, and have limited communications established at the site for real-time monitoring.  The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), with support from USAID, has started an initiative to develop and deploy low-cost weather instrumentation in sparsely observed regions of the world. The goal is to improve weather observations for environmental monitoring and early warning alert systems on a regional to global scale.  Instrumentation that has been developed use innovative new technologies such as 3D printers, Raspberry Pi computing systems, and wireless communications.  The initial pilot project is focused on developing a weather station network for Zambia.  This effort could be expanded to other countries in Africa and other data sparse regions around the globe.  The presentation will provide an overview and demonstration of 3D printed instrumentation and initial experiences deploying the surface network deployment in Zambia.
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