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The SMN ACDC 2020-2040 project: SwissMetNet Acquisition and Data Communication 2020-2040


MeteoSwiss is renewing its infrastructure for collecting and transmitting data from several thousand sensors located across the length and breadth of Switzerland. The Internet of Things and cloud services are deployed for this purpose. The measurement data are transmitted to a central database, from where they are distributed to all of the systems and individuals that utilise them to generate meteorological products (apps, Internet, meteorologists, numerical models, climatology, etc.).

Project start01.04.2019
Project end31.12.2026
StatusCurrent projects
  • Measurement & forecasting systems


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Swiss federal authoritiesSwiss federal authorities

How the Internet of Things serves meteorology

Each sensor in the ground-level monitoring network of MeteoSwiss is connected to an electronic component. These two elements together form an object that autonomously transmits the measurement data to a hosted service using a protocol that ensures the separation between the publication and the utilisation of this data.

The weather stations thus represent a collection of sensors with a common infrastructure, whereby the latter can be easily reconfigured according to the requirements of the users, such as by adding or relocating a sensor. The communication from each object is rendered secure through the use of a certificate which allows the host to uniquely identify the object.

The configuration of all these objects within the network (more than 3,000) is highly automated. This is possible because only a limited number of sensor types (around 20) is used. Specific software needs to be developed for each sensor-electronic component pair. Then, when an object is deployed on-site, it only has to be configured in a process controlled by an existing central database of MeteoSwiss. With these new procedures, the ground-level monitoring network of MeteoSwiss can make full use of 21st-century technologies like the Internet of Things and hosted services, while guaranteeing robust and functional network operations.

The SwissMetNet monitoring network

SwissMetNet is the automated reference network for ground-level measurements operated by MeteoSwiss. The number of automatic monitoring stations within SwissMetNet has been increased significantly in recent years based on continuous monitoring of the requirements (for the protection of people and goods during extreme weather events, for the aviation sector, for cantonal and federal authorities, for nuclear safety and short-term forecasts, for civil society and the military and for weather forecasting and climatology). While the basic infrastructure and most of the meteorological instruments are in excellent condition, the electronics for the data collection and communication are nearing the end of their service life.

The SwissMetNet Acquisition and Data Communication (SMN ACDC) project

At the end of 2018, the management at MeteoSwiss decided to introduce the SMN ACDC project with the aim of renewing the data collection and communication infrastructure for the SwissMetNet monitoring network. The project prioritises the quality and resilience of the network while at the same time striving to reduce investment and operating costs as far as possible. A comprehensive feasibility study indicated that all of the various needs could be fully met through the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud technologies, and that this approach would also have financial advantages. The management has endorsed this new focus on data transmission technologies, and has tasked the project team with implementing the new solution. This strategy is in line with the Swiss federal government’s innovation and automation strategy and, in particular, its cloud strategy. It ensures the long-term resilience of our operations, which is equally one of the strategic goals of MeteoSwiss.

The project involves two phases to prepare the new system for deployment. The first preparatory phase was completed at the end of 2022 for ten stations. This phase provided the opportunity for the new solution to be evaluated and, where necessary, for minor modifications to be carried out. A second preparatory phase will take place in 2023. After a second validation phase, the project will then enter its implementation phase, to run from 2024 to 2026, during which the solution will be installed in all SwissMetNet stations.

  • Project client: Bertrand Calpini
  • Project manager: Christian Félix