A low-cost wireless temperature sensor: evaluation for use in environmental applications
Young, D. T., Chapman, L., Muller, C. L., Cai, X. M. and Grimmond, C. S. B. (2014) A low-cost wireless temperature sensor: evaluation for use in environmental applications. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 31 (4). pp. 938-944. ISSN 1520-0426
To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00217.1
With a wide range of applications benefiting from dense network air temperature observations but with limitations of costs, existing siting guidelines and risk of damage to sensors, new methods are required to gain a high resolution understanding of the spatio-temporal patterns of urban meteorological phenomena such as the urban heat island or precision farming needs. With the launch of a new generation of low cost sensors it is possible to deploy a network to monitor air temperature at finer spatial resolutions. Here we investigate the Aginova Sentinel Micro (ASM) sensor with a bespoke radiation shield (together < US$150) which can provide secure near-real-time air temperature data to a server utilising existing (or user deployed) Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks. This makes it ideally suited for deployment where wireless communications readily exist, notably urban areas. Assessment of the performance of the ASM relative to traceable standards in a water bath and atmospheric chamber show it to have good measurement accuracy with mean errors < ± 0.22 °C between -25 and 30 °C, with a time constant in ambient air of 110 ± 15 s. Subsequent field tests of it within the bespoke shield also had excellent performance (root-mean-square error = 0.13 °C) over a range of meteorological conditions relative to a traceable operational UK Met Office platinum resistance thermometer. These results indicate that the ASM and bespoke shield are more than fit-for-purpose for dense network deployment in urban areas at relatively low cost compared to existing observation techniques.