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Innovative Technology for Low-Cost Surface Atmospheric Observations (UCAR)

Monday, April 10, 2017 - 12:20

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) and US National Weather Service (NWS) International Activities Office (IAO) with support from USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has started an initiative called 3D-PAWS (3D-Printed Automatic Weather Station) to expand observation networks in sparsely observed regions of the world. The 3D-PAWS effort involves the development and deployment of low-cost surface weather stations utilizing 3D printer technology.  A very high quality surface weather station can be manufactured in about a week, at a cost of $300-500, using locally sourced materials, microsensor technology, low-cost single board computers, and a 3D printer.  Deployment of 3D-PAWS systems consists of installing a station and providing a 3D printer and training to manufacture additional stations.