HYDRCST: low-cost and robust hydro-meteorological telemetric stations

Local adverse conditions in less developed countries pose serious problems to telemetric hydro-meteorological stations, compromising monitoring networks. Some of these adverse conditions are related to the telecommunication infrastructure, equipment complexity, and institutional barriers to operate the system adequately (e.g., long process to purchase equipment or to release funds for operation).

Hydrocst is designed as controller, storage and transmission system for hydro-meteorological stations. It has being developed and tested for the Búzi and SAP-Limpopo projects in Mozambique. We aim at developing stations with the following characteristics:

  • Partners are capacitated to design, purchase, assembly, install, and operate their stations without support of third parts.

  • System components are purchase in the following preference order: local market, national market, neighbor countries, or worldwide.

  • Components should have low investment costs also due to the higher probability of reposition due to vandalism and thievery

  • Low operation costs

  • Reliability as the ability to run under foreseen conditions

  • Robustness to cope with unreliable telecommunication infrastructures or inappropriate operation

  • Easy to install

  • Remote operated

We implement the hydro-meteorological station using Cinterion GPRS/GSM modules, namely TC65i-X with RS-232 and RS-485 interfaces. The data model is independent these modules and can be implemented in other GPRS/GSM modules like from Telit.

  • Data is retrieved from sensors via AT-commands.

  • Sensors with and without internal clocks are synchronized.

  • Davis stations with RS-232 interface are used as meteorological station.

  • Keller pressure sensors with a RS-485 interface are used to observe water level .

  • The system is extendable to other sensors with either RS-232 or RS-485.

  • Data is saved locally to the TC65i-X flash memory.

  • The stations send a startup report with different data about the station

  • The stations send daily status report on e.g. available credits or validity

  • Observation frequency can be different from transmission frequency

  • Data not sent due to network failure are sent later when the connection is reestablished

  • Operation is done via SMS

  • Credits can be remotely recharged by credits transference or self-loading (to get bonus)

  • Credits can be transferred between stations

The station has the following components:

  • Solar panel

  • Voltage regulator

  • 12 V battery

  • Sensor

  • TC65i-X with antenna (internal or external)

  • Cables, connectors, and fuses

  • Electrical panel

For both meteorological and hydrometric stations the components costs are bellow € 1,000.00.


Meteorological station


Hydrometric station