If you're wondering why this contraption is installed here at this open field surrounding some HDB flats, the short answer is that we're trying to collect climate data to see how "hot" or "cool" this place is over the course of a typical year in Singapore.
It's part of Mr. Yu Minghong's research project with Dr. Roth & Chow, which deals with studying how short- and long-term changes occur here relative to other sites across the island.
The station here measures climate conditions for a typical high-rise residential area. Such data is important as the heat island (that is, the fact that urban areas are generally warmer than rural areas) has some "bad" effects on the human environment.
For instance, a warmer night-time residential area could translate to greater discomfort for people. Flat-owners who have air conditioning would probably turn these on to cool their homes -- the problem is that the heat from indoors is transferred outside, which likely worsens the outdoor environment.
So data from this station gives us some idea of how the immediate climate conditions are at this neighbourhood, and we at the Urban Climate Lab hope to see how these relate to other parts of Singapore that we are studying.
Thanks for reading! Oh, and if you're interested in learning more, do contact Minghong (minghong DOT yu AT u DOT nus DOT edu DOT sg), or the Lab PIs Dr. Roth (geomr AT nus DOT edu DOT sg), or Dr. Chow (winstonchow AT nus DOT edu DOT sg) for more details.