Low-cost, DIY environmental monitoring for all


The FreeStation and FreeSensor initiatives use open source hardware, open source software and open source 3-D printing technology to build and deploy reliable environmental data loggers and sensors with the lowest cost and easiest DIY build possible. These are designed to make reliable, detailed and local environmental data more accessible in areas that may have little local financial and technical capacity for the collection of such data. As the names imply, the designs are freely available and open source so anyone can build them. The designs are mature and we have built more than 700 dataloggers.

Users of this technology are able to read the data via an SD card (and upload to the FreeStation //Smart: platform) or connect directly via WiFi or GSM. The //Smart: platform provides both raw data and graphical summaries of the data as well as metrics and derivatives relevant to environmental, agricultural and hydrological decision-making and policy evaluation. The data can also be integrated with our widely used tools such as WaterWorld, Co$tingNature and Eco:Actuary, supporting, calibration, validation and downscaling. All FreeStation data are also open sourced for all to use.

FreeStation, FreeSensor and similar initiatives have the potential to fundamentally change the local information base available to scientists, NGOs, farmers and water resource managers, whilst crowdsourcing real-time, ground-based environmental data, globally. By combining these data with the vast satellite-derived archives in WaterWorld and other tools, more sophisticated and locally-relevant policy and decision making support can be provided. If you have a FreeStation and want to upload or analyse your data see Data and Analytics.

FreeStation is developed since 2014 with funding from a range of sources including the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No 730497 (NAIAD) and 101017857 (ReSET). We only build stations for projects in which we are partner. We do not build stations for sale, you have to build them yourself. We will provide support by answering questions on the provided documentation but cannot troubleshoot your builds for you.

If you need our extensive data collection and monitoring network development experience on a project, get in touch We also have a stock of >400 dataloggers and thousands of sensors (covering hundreds of environmental variables) that can contribute to short or long term monitoring projects.

The presentation below provides more detail on FreeStation and FreeSensor:

A FreeStation in agricultural land in Burkina Faso

FreeStation generation 1 and 2

Example FreeStation data from //Smart