Partnering with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), a team of students at Design Factory Melbourne (DFM) designed a weather monitoring system that provides mutual benefit to BoM and farmers in remote areas.

The Bureau is Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency. Its expertise and services assist Australians in dealing with the harsh realities of their natural environment, including drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami and tropical cyclones.

The Bureau maintains weather monitoring stations across Australia which have varying capabilities in the weather phenomena that they can monitor. The data from these stations informs decisions made by industry, farmers, and communities. BoM partnered with DFM to investigate potential ways to improve services for rural and remote communities.

The project


Farmsense uses micro sensors, which, unlike other weather monitoring stations, are low-cost, portable and easy to install.

Mutual Benefit

The local weather data technology gives farmers more accurate data, while also helping BoM better understand weather trends


With growing unpredictability in weather due to climate change, remote communities benefit from localised weather data.

The solution

The team found that BoM’s current weather monitoring stations are large, difficult to transport and require specific technical knowledge to maintain. Any solution had to be small, efficient, and cheap to produce.

User research with farmers showed that with today’s erratic and changing climate, now more than ever, farmers rely on the weather data they receive from BoM. However, farmers felt that the current data was unreliable, vague, and not localised enough to make growing decisions on.

The final proof of concept prototype was FarmSense – a holistic system which gives farmers micro weather sensors that collect live data from their location, that in turn helps BoM to collect data from regional areas.

The micro sensors are:

  • low-cost
  •  portable
  • come with a variety of mounting brackets, allowing it to be easily installed onto around the property.

Each sensor is connected wirelessly to the farmer’s smartphone, giving them regular updates while transmitting the data back to BoM to supplement their existing data.

Through FarmSense, there’s the potential for farmers to benefit from localised weather data. Plus, BoM is able to better understand weather trends in remote and regional areas.

  • DFM-Farmsense2
  • DFM-Farmsense1
  • DFM-Farmsense3

Contributing Students

  • Rachel (Communication Design)
  • Stephen (Entrepreneurship & Innovation)
  • Shariq (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
  • Miles (Digital Media Design)
  • Muzzammil (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
  • Zeynep (Interior Architecture)
  • Katherine (Product Design)
  • Dan (Accounting & Finance)
  • Matilda (Science - Physics)

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