More research for less: CIMMS funded project utilizes 3D tech

Student's standing beside the weather station.
Sheridan, Ungar, and Dr. Brad Illston of the Oklahoma Mesonet alongside the student’s weather station. (Photo provided)


Two students putting metal rods into the PVC legs for additional support in the concrete
Sheridan and Ungar putting metal rods into the PVC legs for additional support in the concrete. (Photo provided)

Low-cost weather sensors and 3D-printing technology may provide an alternative for research looking to make a big impact.

University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies research associates are conducting a year-long data comparison of a low-cost weather station with an Oklahoma Mesonet site in Norman, Oklahoma.

The CIMMS station measures temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, UV index and rain accumulation.

The station was installed in mid-August after a few installation issues. Oklahoma Mesonet’s Brad Illston helped OU School of Meteorology undergraduate students Bryan Sheridan and Max Ungar install the station. The year-long CIMMS funded project will determine the sensor’s accuracy and durability.

project frame
The completed weather station frame. (Photo provided)

Under the direction of CIMMS Research Associate Adam Theisen, Sheridan and Ungar built the low-cost weather station using plans developed by the 3D-Printed Automatic Weather Station Initiative from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Theisen supports ARM’s Data Quality Office.

With help from Brandt Smith and Tyler Thibodeau at the Tom Love Innovation Hub, Sheridan and Ungar were able to 3D print more than 100 parts using a UV-resistant weatherable polymer. The frame is made of PVC pipe with concrete anchors for stability.