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Reply To: Beyond 2G cellular modems?

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    I’m always open to collaboration…I very much like the website you sent me and want to develop something very similar to stream live data. I’d be interested in the platform you’re using to push and store data. This is all very new to me and my learning curve is quite steep (originally a forest ecologist and remote sensing analyst back when), but one of my advisors has been developing with Arduino for several years now and is an adept C++ programmer.

    My primary water quality parameter of interest is specific conductance as it is used by many regulatory agencies to determine whether streams are meeting their designated uses below mountaintop mine and valley fill (MTM/VF) sites throughout Central Appalachia (http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?dirEntryId=233809). Streams with SC > 500 uS/cm are typically degraded and have significantly reduced biological diversity. Mine waters in the region are dominated by Ca2+, Mg+, SO4-, and HCO3-. My research interest is in evaluating the effect of engineering hydrologic flowpaths to maintain downstream water chemistry. My site was experimentally mined and reclaimed to minimize the ionic strength of waters downstream from MTM/VF sites.

    Prior to matriculating at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA in 2012, I worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewing surface coal mine permits in Kentucky for compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In addition to surface and groundwater specific conductance, parameters of interest include climate (wind speed, precip, barometric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity), flow (I’ve got one flume installed and possibly another will be installed) and groundwater (water depth, ORD, and pH) and surface water quality (including temperature, DO, pH, ORP, Ca, and Cl). I’ve been interested in developing a wireless sensor network primarily due to limited funding and the remoteness of the site, as well as the ability to monitor and collect continuous data.

    I’m well aware of the limitations you mention re: sensors, particularly cost, so one of my research objectives is to evaluate the performance of low-cost sensors that can be integrated into WSNs. For example, we’ll be testing Atlas Scientific, Pasco, an/or Cole-Palmer sensors (pH, DO, conductivity, ORP) and Pasco and/or Cole-Palmer for Ca and Cl. We’re also trying to develop a pressure transducer using shields from Sparkfun and Adafruit, but are having some difficulty with waterproofing. May have to try the acoustic systems for depth. A sensor for sulfate is of particular interest but I can’t seem to find anything out there.

    Let me know any thoughts you may have regarding collaboration. Feel free to contact me a sgfulton@charter.net.

    Thanks again,

    P.S. I recognize your area code…I’m originally from San Rafael, CA.