The WeatherStation project started as an interactive programming assignment for engineering students. Serving as a dynamic data source, it challenged students to build interactive user interfaces to display environmental sensor data, including temperature, light intensitiy, humidity and air pressure. The first and second version were limited to a few sensors, running on a PIC24F16KA301.
The reaction of students and the community were positive, and many improvements and enhancements were requested. These included migration to an Arduino compatible microcontroller, local data storage, and more sensors. Funding was acquired to develop version 3 as an open source project. Changes in version 3 include swapping the PIC24F16KA301 for an ATMEGA328AU, addition of a Si1145 visible light/IR/UV sensor, addition of an MQ-135 air quality/CO2 sensor, an SD card slot, and various enhancements in power supply design and connectivity.
In 2016, a small production run of 100 units was completed. The firmware is under active development, and users are encouraged to contribute to it by forking the repository on Github. An initiative to further develop the hardware and make it commercially available is ongoing as spin-off project OpenObservatory.