Final Challenge of the TAHMO Sensor Design Competition to be held in Nairobi next week

TAHMO logoFrom Monday 29 July to Friday 2 August 2013 the Final Challenge of the TAHMO Sensor Design Competition will be held in iHub, Nairobi, Kenya. Twelve selected participants coming from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Spain will as one team address different weather sensor related design and construction challenges each day. By the end of the week they will have built an integrated weather station, capable of communicating data to a website with visualization and analytics.

TAHMO Sensor Design Competition

The TAHMO Final Challenge is the closing of the TAHMO Sensor Design Competition, a contest run at (mainly) African universities. The first round of the competition (http://tahmo.info/about-competition) was open to any academic or research group in Africa and asked for the design of an innovative  robust sensor, capable of measuring a weather related variable. In total 26 designs coming from 15 different teams were received.

The top thirteen teams with the best designs (http://tahmo.info/selected-entries) received a ‘Maker Package’, an extended electronics kit, that allowed them to build and test their sensors. Based on videos an pictures of their prototypes, the top eight teams were selected (http://tahmo.info/selected-participants-tahmo-final-challenge-nairobi), resulting in twelve participants attending the TAHMO Final Challenge in Nairobi.

Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory

The TAHMO Sensor Design Competition is part of the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) project, a joint initiative of Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) www.tudelft.nl and Oregon State University (US) http://oregonstate.edu/. TAHMO aims to install a dense cost-effective network of 20,000 hydro-meteorological measuring stations in Africa, each one costing just $500. This network will measure all standard meteorological variables (rainfall, radiation, temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction). The data will be combined with models and satellite observations to obtain much more insight into the distribution of water and energy stocks and fluxes in Africa.

Up and running in 2018

Funding permitting, the aim is to have all 20,000 stations up and running in 2018, located at schools and integrated in the educational programs. The weather stations will give local people access to climate data that is relevant to their daily lives, provide climate scientists with a large new amount of data, help understand the possibilities the African continent offers for agriculture and other water-related activities, and also train a new generation on how to do weather measurement. TAHMO might also help tackle the global food crisis: http://www.trust.org/item/20130612154314-hx4wf/.

Business aspects – new competition


Apart from the challenges regarding designing a low-cost weather station, data management and integration in the educational, an important issue that needs to be addressed is developing and rolling out viable business development. One important goal is to make the TAHMO initiative financially sustainable. Together with Africa Gathering (http://www.africagathering.org/) two brainstorm sessions were organized mid-July in respectively Accra, Ghana, and Dakar, Senegal on the business aspects of TAHMO. Participants were African entrepreneurs, meteorologists and technologists.

During these two events, a competition has been launched (http://www.africagathering.org/competition/) to generate business ideas, specifically around the ownership of the weather stations and potential buyers of the obtained weather data. The competition closes end of August 2013. The best entry wins 5.000 EUR to develop the idea further.

 

Results of the TAHMO Final Challenge Nairobi 2013

Shortly after the TAHMO Final Challenge, the results of this workshop, including pictures, will be published on www.TAHMO.org and https://www.facebook.com/TAHMO.initiative.