Mobile weather station project receives TLEF funding

Image of a bicycle showing how a Meteobike kit is attached. The kit is mounted on the crossbar in a black pack containing the Raspberry Pi with GPS and battery pack, a T/RH sensor in a reflective radiation shield and a pouch to store a smartphone.

The kit can be easily attached to a bicycle and enables students to capture live data. Image: Sara Knox

The Meteobike project, which enables students to measure meteorological data while cycling around the city, will now receive support from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund.

A low-cost, mobile weather station comprised of a microcomputer (Raspberry Pi), GPS receiver and a temperature/humidity sensor, the Meteobike has been been successfully utilized for the past two academic years by undergraduate students taking UBC Geography’s Urban Meteorology course.

Close up of a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, which looks like a tiny motherboard

The kit utilizes the processing power of Raspberry Pi – a tiny, single board computer

The project was designed to help students develop a better understand of the urban heat island (UHI) effect, in which some urban areas experience higher temperatures than their immediate surroundings. Students can easily attach a Meteobike unit to their bikes then ride to collect real-time meteorological data, allowing them to map the UHI effect.

Assistant professor Sara Knox, who runs the project, hopes that the TLEF funding will allow Meteobike to expland, become more accessible, include additional new low-cost sensors, and develop standardized calibration protocols to ensure more accurate and reliable measurements.