The Concept

The FreeStation initiative uses open source hardware, software, 3-D printing and PCB fabrication technology to build and deploy reliable automatic weather stations with the lowest cost and easiest build possible.  These are designed to facilitate the accessibility of reliable, detailed and local climate data in areas that may have little local financial and technical capacity for the collection of such data.  As the name implies, these stations are being made available to relevant organisations (schools, local government, NGOs) free of charge.  Users of these stations are able to read the data via an SD card and a web-based tool, which provides access to the raw data, analyses and graphical summaries of recent climate variables as well as agriculturally and hydrologically relevant analytical derivatives.  At the same time, the data is uploaded to the policysupport.org servers and thereby contributes to the temporal detail of data available in widely used policysupport.org tools such as WaterWorld.

The FreeStation Nano includes one of soil moisture, temperature and humidity or rainfall sensors. The Micro includes all of temperature, humidity, solar radiation and rainfall. The Meso adds wind speed and wind direction. The Macro adds wind driven rainfall, fog and/or soil moisture at 2 depths.  The FreeStation concept has the potential to fundamentally change the local information base available to farmers and water resource managers, whilst crowdsourcing real-time, ground-based environmental data globally.  Combining these data with the vast satellite-derived archives in WaterWorld and other policysupport.org tools, more sophisticated and locally-relevant policy and decision making support can be provided.

If you would like to run a FreeStation

Though the components of FreeStations are designed to be low-cost and accessible, a significant research effort and labour cost to building is required to bring them to you. Taking on a FreeStation requires you to sign our collaboration agreement that recognises your responsiblility to install and maintain the station, upload the required data and respect our time investment in bringing it to you. To request a FreeStation please complete this form.

If you have a FreeStation

Click here to calibrate retrieved data and for a Google Drive based analytical tool use : Micro+0, Micro+T+T