Discipline: Computer Sciences and Information Management
Subcategory: Computer Science & Information Systems
Whitney Nelson - Hampton University
Co-Author(s): Jenish Koirala, Claflin University Gaston Seneza, Philander Smith College Ian Bragg, Alabama University
Weather data collection and analysis is vital for earth climate studies. Approached with the problem of collecting and organizing weather data at low cost, we decided to use the credit card sized Raspberry Pi (R-Pi) computers to tackle the problem. R-Pi clusters are flexible to a) collect weather data via sensors, b) host the obtained weather data on a cloud, c) organize the weather data on a database and d) host a web server that can provide access to the weather data. While our team worked on the overall project, my role was to generate scripts for the user-server-database interactions. When a user requests data to the server, the request is serviced by a series of scripts performing different tasks. The first task is to create a connection to the database, where the weather data is stored. The second task is to transform the user request into an appropriate query based on user selection. Then, the query generated, after passing a validity test, is sent to the database server. Upon receiving the data from the database, it is again checked for validity. The final task is to format the received data for displaying as plot or tables.
The Weather Pi Arduino and Raspberry Pi are the key pieces of technology that were used to create Weather Stations. The Pis are connected through the General Purpose Input Output pins. The Weather Pi Arduino has built in sensors and other sensors that were attached that read in weather data. Once the Weather Pi reads the data, it then uploads the data to the Raspberry Pi and remotely stored. Owncloud (version 7.0.1), a cloud storage was used because it is a self-hosted share server. This is where all the data is stored. A MYSQL database is then synchronized with the Owncloud. As soon as data is uploaded from the sensor and sent to the cloud, it is automatically uploaded to the database. Once in the database, the data is then organized into tables. This organization allows the data to be properly indexed through based upon a user request. Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) are the two languages used to extract the data based upon user request. HTML works on the client side of this process which describes the browser. It is the display of the page and works as an interface that the user interacts with. When the user fills out the entire form and the submit button is hit, the HTML code is sent to the PHP code to be processed. PHP is intellectual programming language that works on the server side of this process. All the code was then put on the “Pi in the Sky” web page and properly adjusted for a friendly user interface. The web page was then further developed to make the user’s experience as pleasant as possible.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Center for Atmospheric Research
Faculty Advisor: Chutima Boonthum-Denecke,