Using pressure measurements from smartphones

This PhD project is about aggregating and using crowdsourced data for use in numerical weather predictions. Good examples of such data could be private weather stations, wind measurements from handheld units and pressure observations from modern smartphones. This PhD project has a primary focus on the latter.

Modern smartphones come with a built-in barometric sensor, which can detect even minor pressure changes. The sensor is primarily used to identify altitude changes for the user of the mobile device, related to, for example, a run or a bike trip. The data from such a sensor is more accurate than the GPS system and uses significantly less power. This is possible as the pressure decreases with increasing altitude.

The pressure is an essential parameter for calculations related to the weather, and this is the reason why this PhD project attempts to exploit the usefulness of such data. For validation and correction, different types of statistical analysis are applied.

The data is collected from real users through an app for smartphones (iOS and Android). The data is stored on a secure server and is used in this project only. It is not handed on to other parties. The data is anonymous in the sense that no email, name, address or similar related to the pressure observations are known.