Africa and the Internet of Things Revolution

Many meteorological networks in Africa are not recording accurate data. However, accuracy can be improved and maintenance costs reduced with the application of new IoT technologies. This can lead to positive impacts on agricultural output and disaster prevention.

Find out more in “Join the IoT Revolution” article on page 43 of the Hydromet AFRICA ExpoGuide as published by Varysian.

Read practical know-how based on the 10+ years of experience in the meteorological industry of Jan Barani, who is the designer of the MeteoHelix IoT Pro micro-weather stations.

Find out what is the ideal IoT weather station for a meteorological network

  • Would an ideal low-cost WMO-compliant weather station look like the MeteoHelix?

  • Can network service and maintenance be optimized with measurement traceability in mind?

Find out what is a vandalism-tolerant meteorological network

  • Is a high-density meteorological network based on affordable micro weather stations inherently vandalism-proof.

  • How does higher data density affect vandalism tolerance?

  • Can redundancy be affordably created using IoT technologies while increasing network reliability.

  • Does a micro weather station designed to prevent data access to thieves and with minimal resale or recyclable material value already exist?

“ Join the IoT Revolution ” article taken from the  Hydromet AFRICA ExpoGuide  as published by  Varysian .

Join the IoT Revolution” article taken from the Hydromet AFRICA ExpoGuide as published by Varysian.

Monsanto in Europe begins evaluation testing of MeteoHelix IoT Pro in field experiments as part of SkyMaps’ agro solutions

MeteoHelix Pro weather station in agricultural field experiments

MeteoHelix Pro weather station in agricultural field experiments

MeteoHelix IoT Pro micro weather stations designed to achieve strict accuracies as set by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have been deployed to crop field experiments throughout Europe by Monsanto as part of Skymaps s.r.o. precision agricultural solution. The precise measurement properties resulting from their helical, spiral or twister design makes these wireless weather stations unique in the marketplace.

Recent advancements in wireless technologies enabled BARANI DESIGN Technologies to design a complete wireless weather station into a cavity where only a sensor could fit before. This new helical weather station design is not only accurate and compact, but also economical. With the target MSRP end-user price set at 499 Euro (VAT exclusive) or $550 USD, the measurement quality and installation convenience offered can be considered a steal. For precision agriculture experiments where accurate climate monitoring is of utmost importance, the long-term measurement stability offered by the self-cleaning MeteoHelix IoT weather stations is a strong selling point, along with their ease of use, installation and operation.

The MeteoHelix IoT Pro is not the only meteorological measurement technology being evaluated by Monsanto. Understory weather stations have been in evaluation for some time. MeteoHelix IoT Pro is however the most accurate, theft proof, vandalism proof weather station on the market today.

MeteoHelix ready for Industry 4.0

Agricultural weather station with a wind sensor, rain gauge and helical radiation shield.

Agricultural weather station with a wind sensor, rain gauge and helical radiation shield.

What is industry 4.0 and how does meteorological data fit into its picture?

In general, the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0 for short) is widely accepted as the rise of connectivity following the computerization of manufacturing. For example, the term "Precision Agriculture" is one subset of the 3rd and 4th industrial revolutions, where the 3rd industrial revolution is all about computerization and widespread sensor adoption and the fourth is the rise of connectivity and its benefits. We are still in the middle of both of these industrial revolutions. The benefits of Industry 3.0 are clearly visible with sensors in everything from our cars to our household appliances, while the benefits of connectivity will become more and more noticeable in the years to come.

The rise of home weather stations

In meteorology one can see the widespread adoption of home weather stations as the result of Industry 3.0, while the rise of meteorological data sharing networks like Weather Underground as the beginnings of Industry 4.0.  The rise of precision agriculture is also the result of sensor adoption and started with the widespread use of weather stations in farming. It continues with the rise of software platforms that offer not only present weather data sharing and data processing, but are also able to combine this data with crop health and soil analyses to paint a more complete picture of current crop status and crop development.  This complete picture helps decision makers (agronomists in precision farming) make significantly more informed decisions and helps prevent wasteful use of water, fertilizer and chemical agents used to treat plant diseases and pest outbreaks.

Impact on professional meteorology

In professional meteorology the changes from the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution come slower. Scientists and meteorologists need to be sure that each new technology provides high-quality data and long-term data stability as climatic changes happen on a scale of a few thousands of a degree per year. Additionally, every new sensor technology needs to be thoroughly tested and compared to existing measurement instruments and techniques so as to ensure data continuity and consistency. In other words, professional applications of weather sensors cannot permit sensor differences to create false changes in long-term climatic measurement, where a change is temperature sensor technology would result in a step change in global temperature readings. One such new technology currently being evaluated by professionals around the world is the helical radiation shield for air temperature sensors which promises to significantly increase accuracy and reduce measurement uncertainty of any temperature sensor in outdoor applications. The impact of this helical solar shield technology found in the MeteoHelix micro-weather stations from Barani Design Technologies may mean that tens of thousands of home weather stations throughout the world may in the near future be able to provide high-quality professional weather data used to improve local weather forecasts.