The Living Classroom‘s Weather Station is a cooperative endeavour between Gwydir Shire Council, ITC International from Armidale, Bingara Central School and ACARA (The Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority). It provides instantaneous information on temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction, and precipitation.
Sam Fisher representing ICT International installed the station and its related devices. ICT International Principal Dr Peter Cull confirmed the timeliness of this equipment and its importance in contemporary Australia. “The growing regional, national and global concern for water management and its further impact on the mitigation of global warming made for this project to be expedited without delay.” Dr Cull had said in support of the installation at TLC.
Sam explained the use of LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) to enable connectivity to sites and projects particularly within the agriculture sphere. The Weather Station, designed and constructed by ITC International has been coupled with other environmental monitoring devices.
The full system now operating at TLC consists of:
- A LoRaWAN Network with gateway based at a 240V power source. The maintenance shed offered a good location, external LoRaWAN antenna positioned on the roof.
- 2 x Plant / Soil monitoring sites comprising band dendrometer and single point soil moisture and soil temperature measurement. Installed on two trees in the olive orchard a young (3 yo) tree and an older (19 yo) tree the latter relocated to TLC four years ago, along with 219 others from an orchard near Biniguy NSW.
- Industrial grade weather station with external BOM standard tipping bucket rain gauge. We found a prominent site outside the influence of any buildings and vegetation.
Martin Levins from ACARA explained the importance of this equipment to secondary education. “There is need for teachers and students to be able to see and use IT in practical situations like this,” he said.
Sam Fisher added, “We will be likely to install some of the new LoRaWAN sap flow sensors from ITC International in late 2019/2020 when engineering is completed for this product. Once the network is in, monitoring can be readily expanded.”
The Living Classroom weather station can be viewed and read on TLC Facebook page. “Students and teachers and members of the public can access this data to gain information about the weather and the plants and soils on site instantly,” said the Gwydir Learning Region Manager, Rick Hutton.