Difference between revisions of "BeagleBoard/GSoC/BeagleBoneSonicAnemometerBasicWeatherStation"

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===== Week 5 =====
===== Week 5 =====
Build the physical 3 axis anemometer using sheet metal and copper pipes in the metal shop of my college.
Build the physical 3 axis anemometer using sheet metal and copper pipes in the metal shop of my college.Test the anemometer code.
===== Week 6 =====
===== Week 6 =====

Revision as of 03:04, 11 March 2018


Student: Manas Mangaonkar
Mentors: Stephanie Lockwood-Childs, Steve Arnold
Code: https://github.com/Pac23/Gsoc_SonicAnemometerBasicWeatherStation
Wiki: http://elinux.org/BeagleBoard/GSoC/ProposalTemplate


This Proposal for Sonic Anemometer was accepted in Gsoc 2016,but the chosen ADC proved to be inefficient for sampling at high frequency.

In 2017 again the project was accepted and PRUDAQ was used which solved the sampling and creating trigger for ultrasonic pulse problems.

However Since the final idea is to have a working prototype of a basic weather station with every possible thing ranging from Humidity,temperature to air speed and maybe even pressure.

I discuss what all i plan to implement below.


I have completed the tast required as described on the ideas page, and created a pull request, as listed here

About Me

IRC: Pac23 || Pac23xyz
Github: Pac23
School: vesit Which is a campus of and falls under University of Mumbai
Country: India
Primary language: English,Hindi
Typical work hours: 9:30 - 23:00 IST GMT/EST/PST to Ist Adjusted Time
Previous GSoC participation: First GSoc Participation, i am excited to be a part of gsoc,since contributing to open source means a lot to me and gsoc will be an special achievement. I got interested in IoT as a teenager,the fact that i could control things to do stuff for me with a single click of a button remotely over the internet or Lan was fascinating and makes life somewhat comfortable.Remotely controlled Air conditioners are a good example of the later,on a hot summer day by the time one reaches home the room is already cooled to perfection since the user activated it before leaving work/school.

Sonic Anemometer / Basic Weather Station

Project name: BeagleBone Sonic Anemometer / Basic Weather Station


Get the Anemometer/Basic weather station prototype working,by implementing the best methods to counter operational Environment Disturbances.

My approach to this problem shall be more software,usability and added sensor's and less anemometer since most of the anemometer code has been taken care of in gsoc 2017.

Sonic AnemoMeter / Basic Weather station

Anemometer's are used world wide by Meterologists,Researchers and Scientists to calculate Three Dimensional Windspeed and turbulence. Sonic Anemometers are however utilised since they aren't affected by their operational environmental Conditions.

I am not going to harp too much on the anemometer part since that was achieved last year with in depth coverage of how it functions Here rather would focus on the whole weather station package.

Sonic Anemometers and other weather station devices cost a lot since majority of them are commercially manufactured. What i plan to implement is on a beagleboard using a single python module to control all of the senors to collect the data from not just the anemometer but also the temperature,pressure,rain and humidity sensor.

From a practical perspective a meteorologist/researcher should be able to deploy the station remotely and get data via the internet,and only access it to change the battery bank/pack maybe even run it on solar(Something that can be done with efficient and large enough panels).

Requirement Analysis

Following hardware could be used to start with:-

  • Beaglebone Black/Green(1)
  • PRUDAQ/ADC having rate higher than 400ksps per channel(1/2)
  • Transducers(40Khz,Waterproof)(4)
  • BMP680 Temperature Humidity,pressure and Gas sensor || cheaper Dht sensors

DAQ are the Data Acquisition devices which are used to acquire data from sensors and acts as a bridge between sensors and host computer.

PRUDAQ is a fully open source 40MSPS Data Acquisition (DAQ) cape for the BeagleBone Black or Green designed by Jason Holt and his team at Google Research with a software collaboration from the BeagleLogic creator, Kumar Abhishek(one of the mentors this year).PRUDAQ was created to address a need not currently addressed by the market for a portable and low-cost DAQ system that doesn't compromise on performance.

Since linux is non-preemptive Os it can't be used for realtime measurements,instead the built in PRU would be used for realtime measurements

The BMP680 sensor will be used to measure the air pressure,temperature,humidity and gas since the final aim is to build a complete weather station.The sensor combines all of the small specific application sensors into a single package that roughly costs the same as all the senors individually.Given its small footprint it would be easy to manage manage it the only downside being loosing the modularity offered by individual sensors.Humidity and temperature Sensors can be found for cheaper but they often dont offer the reliability and precision.

Remote Connectivity

Since the station should be deployed remotely,data transfer back to the main server is a very important aspect.Cellular usb modem/satellite internet can be used to beam the data back.

The raw data shall be logged to a json file,at a set interval defined by the user the data shall then be beamed over to the server module.The user shall then choose the factors to automatically generate the graphs using matplotlib. Each individual station having its own graph. The client end module shall be a user friendly gui.

The simplest and cheapest approach would be to setup a server locally to which the data will be sent over to,although this wont be advised as even if the user has access to a static ip,unless the user has backup(power,internet and machine) incase the main server or any connection fails due to any reason.Practically the data could be sent to a cloud hosted database,or the data upload can be programmed in such a way on the station that it will continuously ping the server for status.Whenever the server is found to be live the data shall be sent in.For dynamic addresses a dns resolving service shall be required.

The more advance but expensive approach will be to setup a server & database to which the data will be logged on to.There are couple of disadvantages to it though since if the self hosted server faces downtime all of the users will be affected.Hosting it in on a cloud service will have recurring costs given the amount of data that will sent over,another web based approach to this would require all of the costs of the domain,web hosting,dns etc.

There are various approaches to this problem which i wish to discuss with the mentor

A stretch goal shall be to add functionality to individually configure/calibrate all of the sensors remotely,have a web interface.


I have my Finals till may 30th,after that i can commit 55+ hours a week to this project.During finals there's a gap of 4~5 days between each subject exam so during that time i can commit around 35 hours a week.

I will be starting work on this project asap once accepted by reading as much documentation i can get on my hands about beaglebone and the sensors.

Week 1:

During this week i will study the PRUDAQ,pru and BeagleBone documentation thoroughly.Study all the pinout diagrams,spec sheets and test all the hardware and sensors.

Week 2 - 4

By now i should know all of technical stuff and armed with that i shall begin writing the framework for rest of the addon modules(barometer,temp, humidity).

Deliverables : All of the core modules for the added sensors shall be ready and tested individually

Week 5

Build the physical 3 axis anemometer using sheet metal and copper pipes in the metal shop of my college.Test the anemometer code.

Week 6

Wrap/merge the gsoc 2017 anemometer code with the main module.

Week 7

Test it in a instrumentation engineering lab i have access to. Start adding the data storing model and building the front end module.

Week 9

Complete the data storing model and work on the backend transmission module.

Week 10-11

Buffer weeks

Week 12-13

Test,bugfixing merging

Week 14

Prepare the final presentation slides and video.

Final Goals:

A Working Weather station prototype that can be deployed quickly in any environmental condition. The weather station shall be able to gather Wind speed,Air pressure,temperature,humidity,gas detection(methane for global warming) and whatever the user decides to add to it further.The station shall be capable of sending the data to a remote server and the user shall be able to access the data from multiple machines.

Future Goals

More complex web based interface that has more functionality,user groups.

Experience and Approach

As a part of my graduation program of Computer Science Engineering,i am familiar with the concepts of physics and chemistry that would be involved in the project.Have developed a system for automatic watering of plants using a raspberry pi.

As far as software skills are concerned. I am proficient in C,Python and C++.I usually program in c and python since my college curriculum is completely based on programming in C and i use python for all of my personal projects.Having worked with various frameworks like django,flask and various api's i think i do have the knowledge required for implementing a remote connectivity module.


  • Smart CryptoPriceTracker : Used couple of api's and the requests framework to keep track of various crypto currencies set by the user.The user was able to set the minimum and maximum targets for the specific user defined currencies and whenever the target set was achieved. A sms,mail and call with all of the information would be sent to the user. The program has no limit on amount of currencies that can be tracked in realtime.

  • Automatic Water Dispenser : Indian summers are hot and harsh thus using a rpi and soil moisture detectors a script was developed that would dispense water whenever required.


  • Won the first place in sysadmin/Devops contest held at my college.


During majority of the gsoc i won't be having any academic duties to fulfil since the summer break would be pretty long.Thus i can devote my whole time to the project.This shall also help me enhance my database managment and remote networking knowledge which would be required for the remote connectivity part of the project.

Since much of the groundwork has already been laid i am going to jump directly to adding the sensors and completing the software part of it which had been promisied in both previous gsocs but was never achieved.

The reason i believe i should be chosen,is my interest for iot and love for tinkering around with hardware.As i have mentioned above i have a lot of experience in sysadmin/devop side of things.These things came naturally to me as a teenager and and i would enjoy working on this project and pour in all of the hardwork and passion required.I do like reading weather charts,graphs and radar data so this was the first gsoc idea that caught my eye.


As mentioned above i am proficient in most of the concepts that are going to be utilised in this project.In case i cant contact my mentor due to some reason,i can always turn to my experienced faculty of my college and my family members since everyone in the extended family is a software engineer.Reddit and stackexchange are always there to help,i have learned a lot from both sites and lastly google.


The weather station shall be beneficial to students,teachers and researchers who are currently plagued by the cost of commercial hardware available.Even if researchers with large amount of funds do have acess to equipment they still have to spend more money to retrieve it after deployment.Where as given the cost,size and portability of this project it can be airdropped,used and forgotten about.Transporting,storing it would be easy on aircraft's,ships that already have limited space and often researchers have to sacrifice supplies for equipment.Can also be strapped to drones to be deployed since the weight is negligible.

What community members speak -

   Great project for the Aspiring Weather Scientist.
                           Michael Welling(m_w) 
   A working/documented FOSS implementation would be a huge
   plus for both the open source and weather communities.
                              Steve Arnold(nerdboy) 

and the best one award goes to...

   I'll be tempted to build one!
         Jonathan Cameron(jic23)
      • Mentors!!! please add your Quote here.***


Is there anything else we should have asked you?