What is 3D-PAWS?
Many surface weather stations across the globe suffer from incorrect siting, poor maintenance and limited communications for real-time monitoring. To expand observation networks in sparsely observed regions, the 3D-PAWS (3D-Printed Automatic WeatherStation) initiative has been launched by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the US National Weather Service International Activities Office (NWS IAO), with support from the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
Goals of the 3D-PAWS initiative:
A very high quality 3D-PAWS surface weather station can be manufactured in about a week, at a cost of only $200-400, using locally sourced materials, microsensor technology, low-cost single board computers, and a 3D printer. 3D-PAWS sensors currently measure pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and visible/infrared/UV light. The system uses a Raspberry Pi single-board computer for data acquisition, data processing, and communications.
Benefits of a low-cost 3D-PAWS system:
3D-PAWS is being assessed at the NCAR Marshall Field Site in Boulder, CO, the NOAA Testbed facility in Sterling, VA, and at selected international locations. The Boulder site provides sampling conditions in a high-altitude semi-arid environment with subfreezing temperatures and frozen precipitation (the latter is not measured). The NOAA site provides sampling for a more temperate and humid climate near sea-level. The international 3D-PAWS sites provide an assessment of sensor performance in a variety of tropical and sub-tropical climate regimes.
Station Pilot Networks
3D-PAWS systems have been deployed in the United States (3), Kenya (9), Zambia (5), Barbados (1), and Curacao (1). The primary focus in the United States is on testing and evaluation. The sites in Kenya are co-located with schools with a test site at the Kenya Met Department (KMD). The sites in Zambia are installed at radio stations, schools, and rural missions with a test site at the Zambia Met Department (ZMD). The sites in the Caribbean are located at the Curacao Met Department (CMD) and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) with the primary focus on testing and evaluation.
This map provides access to each sensor in the network with links to a location picture and data feed.
3D-PAWS real-time data are available on the CHORDS project data servers: http://3d-kenya.chordsrt.com (Kenya), http://3d-zambia.chordsrt.com (Zambia), and http://3d.chortsrt.com (for testing and evaluation). CHORDS (Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for Geosciences) is a US National Science Foundation (NSF) Earthcube initiative to provide a platform for sharing geosciences datasets. It is supported and managed by the UCAR/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL).
Benefits, Impacts, and End Users
3D-PAWS observations can be used for a variety of hydrometeorological applications.
Additional Documentation at https://sites.google.com/ucar.edu/3dpaws/
For more information, please contact:
Paul A. Kucera, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307 USA
+1. 303. 497. 2807
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