26 September 2023

DPIRD weather stations in line for upgrades

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The Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD) is upgrading its automated weather station network.

The network of 170 automatic weather stations and radars provide weather data to help growers and regional communities make informed decisions.

eConnect+ Project Manager at the Department, Darren Gibbon said the project involved upgrading weather stations from 3G to a 4G ‘sub-band’, which would result in lower power consumption and the coverage of wider areas — ideal for the regions.

“This work will ensure the DPIRD’s network of weather stations continues to provide ongoing near real-time weather information across the State,” Mr Gibbon said.

“After Telstra announced the discontinuation of its 3G network, the Department undertook an extensive evaluation of new 4G equipment to ensure appropriate upgrades to enable continued service delivery from its weather network.”

He said most of the DPIRD’s existing weather stations ran on 3G, so it was crucial the upgrades were completed quickly.

The Department’s station data includes air temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, with most stations also measuring incoming solar radiation to calculate evaporation.

“Our network of automated weather stations and radars are important tools for growers and regional communities; they provide timely, relevant and local weather data,” Mr Gibbon said.

He said the 4G rollout would begin next month, with estimated completion by the end of the year.

“As each weather station is upgraded, we anticipate an outage of approximately an hour at that site, as old equipment is removed, the new hardware installed and existing sensors reconnected,” Mr Gibbon said.

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