287 Modernizing the Georgia Mesonet to Provide Real-Time Weather Services

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Ian D. Flitcroft, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA

The University of Georgia operates a mesonet of 85 Campbell Scientific automated weather stations across the State of Georgia, with a focus on serving the agricultural community. As farmers have begun to use near real time decision support tools, such as irrigation management, it became apparent that the UGA mesonet, which provides the background weather information underpinning the support tools, would need to become extremely reliable in its ability to deliver data. The equipment on each weather station, and the then current method of data collection and dissemination, did not satisfactorily meet the evolving needs of growers. A thorough modernization of the weather station hardware and communication method to each station was carried out and provided the basis for additional improvements in timeliness of data delivery and improved reliability in data transmission. With each weather station now having an IP address it was possible to move all data management and storage onto virtual machines managed by Amazon web services. This frees the network from any interruptions to service caused by failures of physical hardware or University campus internet outages and drastically reduces the frequency of occasions when the weather network data is offline.
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