A couple of days this week, the weather in Dallas put on quite a show for us. One minute, the sun was shining bright and the next minute clouds had filled the sky. Then came the rain, hail and lightning storm that blazed the sky for hours. It all had me wondering if I could do a better job predicting the weather with my BeagleBone acting as weather station to give me a real-time report of pressure and temperature, or if there was some way I could collaborate with others to learn about these natural events.
BeagleBone, based on Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM335x ARM® Cortex™-A8 processor, is the foundation of several hobbyist weather stations, including ones that are active in sharing on collaborative data networks like Cosm and ones that are location-aware utilizing GPS technology. The latter example uses the help of the Arduino microcontroller platform to collect data about the ambient temperature, humidity, gas/pollutants levels and tweets them. It can also collect and log data (using an SD Card) and tweet using WiFi while on the move.
Additional features of the weather station could include using a GPRS module to increase coverage and use the logged data to plot graphs using flot and node.js, thanks to the included Cloud9 IDE. It could even have a touchscreen display for the UI.
If you could use BeagleBone to create your own personal weather station – what would you add to it, how would you share the data and how would you learn from it?
Pictures are courtesy of Koen Kooi.
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