Low-cost disdrometer

Listening to the rain dropping

Anyone who has ever lain in a tent during a rain shower knows that you can judge the force of the rain by the sound it makes. Stijn de Jong has applied this principle to the design of a rain gauge by using the type of small speakers found in greetings cards. These speakers measure the precipitation by listening to the falling raindrops.

Measuring rainfall in cities

By applying this simple technique, Stijn de Jong's acoustic disdrometer costs a mere one percent of the going market rate for a rain gauge with the same specifications. Due to its low costs, this disdrometer lends itself excellently to measuring precipitation in cities where many rain gauges are needed to achieve a reliable picture of precipitation levels. Rainfall measurements are rarely taken in cities nowadays due to local interference from, for example, high-rise buildings.

Stijn de Jong is the first graduate from Climate City Campus. Students from Industrial Design Engineering, Computer Science, and Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis & Management are currently developing a prototype and an implementation plan for De Jong's disdrometer.


The disdrometer is also suitable and affordable for use in Sub-Sahara Africa where a lack of equipment and resources makes it difficult to analyse the climate in this region. After graduating, Stijn de Jong will work on the development of low-cost weather stations (which will use his disdrometer) as part of the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) project. TU Delft's TAHMO project has set itself the goal of installing 20,000 of these weather stations in schools throughout Africa.



Naam auteur: Matthias Bakker
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