Ambient Weather Agent

The Ambient weather agent provides the ability to query for current weather data from Ambient weather stations via the Ambient weather API. The agent inherits features of the Volttron BaseWeatherAgent which provides caching of recently recieved data, as well as point name mapping and unit conversion using the standardized CF-conventions

The values from the Ambient weather station can be accessed through the cloud platform which can be accessed at

Two API Keys are required for all REST API requests:

applicationKey - identifies the developer / application. To request an application key please email

apiKey - grants access to past/present data for a given user's devices. A typical consumer-facing application will initially ask the user to create an apiKey on thier account page ( and paste it into the app. Developers for personal or in-house apps will also need to create an apiKey on their own account page.

API requests are capped at 1 request/second for each user's apiKey and 3 requests/second per applicationKey. When this limit is exceeded, the API will return a 429 response code. This will result in a response from the Ambient agent containing "weather_error" and no weather data.

Ambient Endpoints

The Ambient Weather agent provides only current weather data (all other base weather endpoints are unimplemented, and will return a record containing "weather_error" if used).

The location format for the Ambient agent is as follows:

{"location": "<location_string>"}

Ambient locations are Arbitrary string identifiers given to a weather station by the weather station owner/operator.

This is an example response:

2019-12-17 15:35:56,395 (listeneragent-3.3 3103) listener.agent INFO: Peer: pubsub, Sender: platform.ambient:, Bus: , Topic: weather/poll/current/all, Headers: {'Date': '2019-12-17T23:35:56.392709+00:00', 'Content-Type': 'Content-Type', 'min_compatible_version': '3.0', 'max_compatible_version': ''}, Message:
[{'location': 'Lab Home A',
  'observation_time': '2019-12-18T07:33:00.000000+00:00',
  'weather_results': {'batt1': 1,
                      'battout': 1,
                      'dateutc': 1576625580000,
                      'dewPointin': 39.6,
                      'feelsLikein': 70.2,
                      'humidity1': 1,
                      'humidityin': 31,
                      'macAddress': '50:F1:4A:F7:3C:C4',
                      'name': 'Home A WS',
                      'tempinf': 71.9,
                      'tz': 'Etc/GMT'}},
 {'location': 'Lab Home B',
  'observation_time': '2019-12-18T07:33:00.000000+00:00',
  'weather_results': {'batt1': 1,
                      'battout': 1,
                      'dateutc': 1576625580000,
                      'dewPoint1': 28.6,
                      'dewPointin': 23.5,
                      'feelsLike1': 35.7,
                      'feelsLikein': 53.4,
                      'humidity1': 75,
                      'humidityin': 31,
                      'macAddress': '18:93:D7:3B:89:0C',
                      'name': 'Home B WS',
                      'temp1f': 35.7,
                      'tempinf': 53.4,
                      'tz': 'Etc/GMT'}}]

The selection of weather data points which are included may depend upon the type of Ambient device.


The following is an example configuration for the Ambient agent. The "api_key" and "app_key" parameters are required while all others are optional.


  1. “api_key” - api key string provided by Ambient - this is required and will not be provided by the VOLTTRON team.

  2. “appplication_key” - application key string provided by Ambient - this is required and will not be provided by the VOLTTRON team.

  3. “database_file” - sqlite database file for weather data caching. Defaults to "weather.sqlite" in the agent's data directory.

  4. “max_size_gb” - maximum size of cache database. When cache exceeds this size, data will get purged from cache till cache is within the configured size.

  5. “poll_locations” - list of locations to periodically poll for current data.

  6. “poll_interval” - polling frequency or the number of seconds between each poll.

Example configuration:

    "application_key" : "<api_key>",
    "poll_locations": [
      {"location": "Lab Home A"},
      {"location": "Lab Home B"}
    "poll_interval": 60,
    "identity": "platform.ambient"

Registry Configuration

The registry configuration file for this agent can be found in agent's data directory. This configuration provides the point name mapping from the Ambient API's point scheme to the CF-conventions scheme by default. Points that do not specify "Standard_Point_Name" were found to not have a logical match to any point found in the CF-Conventions. For these points Ambient point name convention (Service_Point_Name) will be used.

Running Ambient Agent Tests

The following instructions can be used to run PyTests for the Ambient agent.

1. Set up the test file - is the PyTest file for the ambient agent. The test file features a few variables at the top of the tests. These will need to be filled in by the runner of the Ambient agent tests. The LOCATIONS variable specifies a list of "locations" of Ambient devices. The required format is a list of dictionaries of the form {"location": <ambient weather station location&gt;}. Locations are determined by the user when configuring a weather station for the Ambient service using the Ambient app. For more information about the Ambient API, visit

2. Set up the test environment - The tests are intended to be run from the Volttron root directory using the Volttron environment. Setting the environment variable, DEBUG_MODE=True or DEBUG=1 will preserve the test setup and can be useful for debugging purposes. When testing from pycharm set the Working Directory value to be the root of volttron source/checkout directory.

Example command line:

(volttron) <user>@<host>:~/volttron$ pytest -s ~/house-deployment/Ambient