What is it?
3D-PAWS (3D-Printed Automatic Weather Station) is an initiative to provide low-cost, reliable, and sustainable environmental observation platform solutions to primarily data sparse regions of the world. It was developed through funding from the US NWS International Activities Office (IAO), with support from the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). 3D-PAWS also provides educational and outreach opportunities to build and deploy observation platforms for training purposes. 3D-PAWS sensors currently measure pressure, temperature, relative, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and visible, infrared, and UV light. New sensors are being developed to monitor water level (stream gauging), soil moisture and temperature, and air quality.
What are the benefits?
A 3D-PAWS surface weather station can be manufactured in about a week, at a cost of only $300 – 500
using locally-sourced materials, microsensor technology, low-cost single board computers, and a 3D printer. The system uses a Raspberry Pi single-board computer for data acquisition, data processing, and communications.
This system is uniquely designed with developing nations in mind. It allows forecasters and emergency managers in these countries access to critical hydrometeorological information to make sound decisions pertaining to weather hazards.
Expanding observation networks and applications
Local assembly at Meteorological Offices in-country
Better communication of weather and climate info to rural communities
Reduced weather and hydrology related risk in data sparse regions