A calibration report for wireless sensor-based weatherboards

Access full-text article here


Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    Sub-Saharan Africa contains the highest number of people affected by droughts. Although this can easily be mitigated through the provision of timely, reliable and relevant weather forecasts, the sparse network of weather stations in most of these countries makes this difficult. Rapid development in wireless sensor networks has resulted in weatherboards capable of capturing weather parameters at the micro-level. Although these weatherboards offer a viable solution to Africa's drought, the acceptability of such data by meteorologists is only possible if these sensors are calibrated and their field readiness scientifically evaluated. This is the contribution of this paper; we present results of a calibration exercise that was carried out to: (1) measure and correct lag, random and systematic errors; (2) determine if Perspex was an ideal material for building sensor boards' enclosures; and (3) identify sensor boards' battery charging and depletion rates. The result is a calibration report detailing actual error and uncertainty values for atmospheric pressure, humidity and temperature sensors, as well as the recharge and discharge curves of the batteries. The results further ruled out the use of Perspex for enclosing the sensor boards. These experiments pave the way for the design and implementation of a sensor-based weather monitoring system (SenseWeather) that was piloted in two regions in Kenya.