1.1 Design and build a low-cost radiation sensor
In this task, you design and build a radiation sensor that is low-cost, robust, low maintenance, and complies with all relevant TAHMO protocols. The sensor should be able to measure incoming long-wave radiation (infrared) and short-wave radiation (visible light) as well as outgoing long waves.
A solid background in (the physics of) climate science as well as basic electronics and skills are expected to be needed for this task.
A physical, working prototype showing proof of concept, plus a report detailing important choices and stipulating the needed steps to implement the sensor in the stations.
1.2 Design standard modular package for the sensors
The basic philosophy of the (physical) TAHMO is modular plug-and-play. In this task, a package is designed that fits the sensors and the plug-and-play philosophy. The package needs to be robust, low cost, and conform to all the TAHMO protocols, especially including the design protocol (below).
A good feel for practical design and the intricacies of manufacturing are needed for this task. (ie. we need an industrial designer!)
A prototype of the package, including a report detailing important choices and stipulating the needed steps to mass produce the package at a low cost.
1.3 Design a protocol for plug-and-play communication in the station
Since all sensors will adhere to the plug-and-play philosophy, a clear protocol is needed to facilitate easy data communication inside the station. In this task, said protocol is decided upon by considering different standards and choosing one that is most applicable to the TAHMO project.
A clear overview of different (digital) communication protocols is needed, or the willingness to quickly learn these.
A manual of the chosen protocol that sensor designers can use and a report detailing important choices.
1.4 Prototype and test different telemetric solutions
The TAHMO stations will use different telemetric solutions based on local specifics. Example solutions include GPRS and wifi. In this project, these different solutions are made into different prototypes and tested. All prototypes must adhere to the relevant TAHMO protocols, especially the communication and packaging protocols.
A strong background in electronics and digital communication is needed for this task.
Prototypes of the different solutions, including a report detailing important choices.
1.5 Develop the TAHMO style guide
A style guide is needed that will be the definitive guide for esthetical choices within the TAHMO project. This guide will cover any style decisions made, both in the (design of) the TAHMO station itself as well as in related products such as the educational package. The style must convey the image and uniqueness of the TAHMO project.
A strong background and a clear vision of design is needed.
A manual that will be the “style bible” for the TAHMO project, including a (digital) logo, color selection, fonts, and ready-made templates for documents. Also: an (artist’s impression) of the first version of the TAHMO station for use in communication with potential partners and donors.
1.6 Design a device for accessing information locally, offline
The data from the device should be somehow reachable to local stakeholders, including farmers and school children. This communication can be achieved by having the device display the current sensor values, but other solutions (apps? Bluetooth?) are possible.
A strong background in electronics and digital communication, as well as an understanding of man/machine interaction, is needed for this task.
Prototypes of the device (or other solution), including a report detailing important choices.
1.7 Advice on available sensors
For sensors that are readily available, like temperature, wind speed, and humidity, a choice still has to be made on which sensor will be included in the TAHMO station. While low cost, the sensors have to comply with the protocols.
Knowledge of available sensors is needed, or the willingness to quickly acquire this knowledge.
A report detailing the important choices and the final choice of sensors.
Data Management & Products
2.1 Develop an overview of data sources for cross-validation
In this task, an overview of data sources (both TAHMO sensor feeds as well as additional information sources) that hold information on a single variable of interest is compiled. Using this overview, a protocol for cross-validation of datasources is written that will be used to facilitate the data quality assessment as well as the maintenance policy. Example: by logging the power received from the solar panel, the values found with the radiation sensor can be cross-validated to test if the sensor is still functional.
A good overview of available climate data sources is needed, or the willingness to quickly collect this (meta) data. Furthermore, a basic understanding of correlation methods is needed.
A report summing up the available data sources and the (statistical) methods that should be used to carry out the cross-validation.
2.2 Metadata architecture
Data is useless without good metadata. Therefore TAHMO needs a solid metadata architecture to support its main data streams. This is closely related to the development of the TAHMO-API, described below.
Knowledge of data and metadata architecture is essential.
A report detailing the meta-data structure that can work as a reference document for people working with the data from TAHMO.
2.3 API for communication with the TAHMO stations and data
The information that the TAHMO stations measure needs to be stored in an accessible way. To allow different users (organizations?) to use this data in a meaningful way, an API is needed. Examples to learn from or steal from are climaps.com and pachube.com.
A strong background in software design and engineering.
A functioning API, that works on (test) data. Including documentation that is understandable for developers to build upon.
3.1 Develop a product development plan
Each sensor that is going to be part of the TAHMO station, both in the initial version and in later plug-and-play add-ons, will have to be designed, tested, refined, calibrated, and produced. To streamline this process a clear vision of the product development cycle for these sensors, within the context of the TAHMO project, is needed. In this task, practical guidelines for setting up this cycle are prescribed.
A good understanding of product development and project management is needed, or the willingness to acquire these skills.
A framework, including guidelines and best practices, for developing products within the context of the TAHMO project.
3.2 Roll-out plan for each country
Each country in Africa has its own cultural, economic, and institutional specifics. Care must be taken in the implementation phase of TAHMO so that these specifics are taken into account. Therefore an implementation plan is needed for each country.
Understanding of the difficulties involved in intercultural communication is a must. Furthermore, an understanding of the local social, economic, and governmental situation is needed. Finally, the output has to be delivered in a well-accepted format for project management, like Prince2. Experience with these is essential.
A project initiation document (PID) that details the implementation of TAHMO in the specific country.
3.3 Build an environment for crowdsourcing design decisions
The wisdom of the crowd is a good thing to bolster. With TAHMO we want to invite the crowd to help in the design process. For successful non-commercial crowdsourcing, a (digital) framework for collaboration and information sharing is needed. In this task, such a framework will be either developed or adopted from existing solutions. An overview of existing methods (websites) has to be made and, using the specific demands of TAHMO, a choice has to be made on the framework that TAHMO will use.
Knowledge of functional software design is needed to translate user demands into a functional design. Experience with tools like RUP is a pre.
A working implementation of a crowdsourcing framework.
4.1 Cross-cultural program to teach kids about the weather
An educational program is needed that teaches kids of about 12-13 years about basic weather parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind, and rainfall. In this task, a core is developed that can (and should) be adjusted to the specifics of the different regions in which TAHMO will be introduced.
A strong background in education and cross-cultural communication is needed for this task.
The core of an educational program that teaches kids 12-13 years old about wind, temperature, rainfall, and humidity. Also, guidelines on how to adapt and implement the program in different cultural backgrounds need to be presented.
4.2 Advanced education on weather, agriculture, and climate
An educational program that shows the benefits of accurate data, such as TAHMO provides, for agriculture, weather prediction, and climate modeling is needed. This program should aim at the advanced level: undergraduate students at (African) professional educations and universities.
A strong background in education and cross-cultural communication is needed for this task. Furthermore, a solid understanding of weather and climate variables, and their relation with agriculture, prediction, and global circulation models is needed.
An educational program (teacher and student materials).
4.3 Organize crowdsource competition at African universities
Crowdsourcing competitions at universities are very popular but in Africa, these are not yet a standard part of university students’ lives. The idea would be to start a competition for TAHMO, for any or all of the four categories and items in this list (except item 4.3).
Experience with crowdsourcing. Knowledge of the limitations that African campuses typically face in terms of access to computers, the internet, and instrumentation.
A competition across at least 15 African countries with clear goals, rules, and prizes.