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Highlighting projects we’re working on and gadgets we’ve built.

Stone Control Structure – Flume

What is a good way to gage a stream without using a weir or an engineered flume?  How about this stone control structure / flume? Having a stable control  is invaluable for developing a good stream flow rating curve.  A rating curve relates the depth of the stream to the flow at a particular point. By a stable control I am referring to  a cross-section of stream that will not change over time due ...[Read More]

midStream – Making real time data publicly available

At the Stroud Water Research Center, one of our first priorities for the Arduino based sensors that Shannon Hicks has been developing has been to make the raw data publicly available online in a readily sharable format.  For now, we’re formatting our data as WaterML 1.0 and sharing  it as a WaterOneFlow webservice. WaterML and the webservice specifications were originally developed by the Co...[Read More]

#StormSnakes for Stormwater Run-off

Greetings, I’m Leslie Birch and I’m an anomaly — a tech artist with a strong interest in water and other environmental causes. Currently I’m at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education as a LandLab artist, tasked with creating an artistic intervention for stormwater run-off at their site. The tech side of me wanted to do something with monitoring, while the artist ...[Read More]

Ultrasonic water depth sensor

We have been using submersible pressure transducers for water level measurements for many years, but some of our installations are in areas with very shallow water that might freeze during the winter.  Most pressure transducers will be damaged if they are in water that freezes, so we’ve been experimenting with an ultrasonic rangefinder that will allow us to measure the water level from above...[Read More]

SDI-12 sensor display

Whenever we install a sensor in the field, it’s always helpful to make sure it is reading properly before connecting it to the datalogger.  Having a display to show the live data from a sensor is also helpful when doing calibration and testing of the sensor in the lab.  We use a variety of sensors from Decagon Devices.  Their high-quality, research grade sensors output the data in two format...[Read More]

Undervoltage protection switch

I recently built a device that is very useful but is hard to find commercially, and even information was scarce about how to build one myself, so I’m posting the details here in hopes that it helps anyone who might be looking for a similar device. It’s called an undervoltage protection switch.  In Europe, it’s commonly called a no-volt release switch.  What does it do?  It is bas...[Read More]