From Earlham Cluster Department
Computer Science will have four distinct roles in this W. M. Keck project. First, we will be designing and building field-deployable remote monitoring systems for the on-campus study plot. These will be small, solar powered, single-board computer based units with the capability to monitor, record, and up-load temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox potential, pressure, and nitrate levels. This will make current data available to any campus-linked computer system for classroom or laboratory use, for archiving and for model development and testing. These developments will build on existing work that the Hardware Interfacing Project, one of our student/faculty applied computer science groups, has done with field-deployable weather stations.
The primary role of the Computer Science division of the W. M. Keck project is to design and build field-deployable remote monitoring systems for the on-campus study plot. These will be small, solar powered, single-board computer based units with the capability to monitor, record, and up-load temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox potential, pressure, and nitrate levels. This will make current data available to any campus-linked computer system for classroom or laboratory use, for archiving and for model development and testing. These developments will build on existing work that the Hardware Interfacing Project, one of our student/faculty applied computer science groups, has done with field-deployable weather stations.
The primary role of this project is to design and build field-deployable remote monitoring systems for the on-campus study plot. We, the Hardware Interfacing Project, have finished field-deployable water monitoring devises, which are small, solar powered, single-board computer based units with the capability to monitor, record, and up-load temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox potential, and etc. During the summer in 2008, we made field trips at springwood lake in Richmond, IN, and we monitored the water quality with our exciting tools. These devises will make current data available to any campus-linked computer system for classroom or laboratory use, for archiving and for model development and testing. --Mikio, 07 Oct 2008, 1:55 pm
The primary role of this project is to design and build field-deployable remote monitoring systems for the on-campus study plot. We, the Hardware Interfacing Project, have finished field-deployable water monitoring devices, which are small, solar powered, single-board computer based units with the capability to monitor, record, and upload temperature, pH (digital), conductivity, redox potential, and similar data to a database accessible anywhere on-campus. During the summer of 2008, we made field trips to springwood lake in Richmond, IN, and we sampled the water quality with our exciting tools. These devices will continuously upload the latest data for archiving, laboratory use, and for model development and testing. -- Dylan 10 Oct 2008 4:36 PM
Design - Hardware
The ultimate goal of the hardware created by HIP for use by this project is to be a simple, durable and functional as possible. The outer shell of each unit is a waterproof Pelican case with holes drilled in it at regular intervals to allow for the attachment of internal components. The heart of the device is a small, independent computer unit, called the PMP, which drives the functionality provided by the unit. The PMP is a small, single-board embedded processor, using an ARM chip and flash memory. The entire unit is powered by a large battery situated at the bottom of a case, which is connected to a charge controller, which sits next to the PMP. Power to all components is routed through the charge controller. Connections to the outside world are handled threefold. The PMP has a wired connection directly to the sonde unit, which plugs into a port on the side of the Pelican case. There is an additional port to handle charging the battery, which is done by solar power, and a Serial / Null Modem port allows direct access to the PMP through a nearby laptop with the appropriate software installed. In order to gain remote access to the machine, a Motorola RAZR cellphone is affixed directly inside the case, which allows the PMP to send data to a central database as it accumulates. Short of full immersion, the entire unit is waterproof. The cable from the case to the sonde itself is fully waterproof and can easily survive full immersion. The sonde gives the unit the capability to run many different tests on the water its submerged in, such as Ph, Dissolved Oxygen, and Oxygen Reduction Potential.
Design - Software
All software run by this project functions under Linux version 2.6.20-17-generic. The centerpiece of the operation is Infobomb. Infobomb is a web interface to a mySQL database stored on Stewie, which enables an easy view of the data without requiring the user to log into the database itself. On top of being a front end to the database, Infobomb guarantees a reliable data transfer from the client to the database by checking for duplicates. This is made possible by the structure in the file name. Each file name sent to Infobomb from the client has information on the time the data was collected, the project the data was collected for, and a checksum at the end of the file name to make sure the file has not been sent previously or corrupted in transfer. The main piece of software on the PMP itself is minicom. Minicom is used on the PMP in order to provide a direct route of access through the laptop connected to the PMP to the Sonde itself. The sonde itself is self-sufficient, as it contains the appropriate software to run all required tests, as well as to calibrate itself to insure optimal measurements in whatever environment its run in. A series of scripts in the PMP memory synchronizes the PMP to the local time, runs the sonde, collects the data in a file, and sends the file to Infobomb via the RAZR, as well as making sure that all scripts are up to date directly from the source.
The picture itself is a satellite view of Springwood lake, superimposed on the picture is a trail of thumbtacks that marks the path taken through the lake, and the times underneath the graph with the line pointing to the corresponding location indicate the time that the location in question was sampled. The data on the chart corresponds to the time, which corresponds to the location, this enables us to gather data from all around the lake, and by looking at where we were and when we were there, we can take the raw data and arrange it into a table showing the exact data displaying the presence or absence of, or the quantity of Ph, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, and the like.
modified by: Maduna
Friday, October 17 2008, 03:05 PM
The primary role of the computer science group members in the Keck Project is to design and assemble Portable Monitoring Platforms (PMPs), which are field-deploy-able units for remotely monitoring specific water parameters. The Hardware Interfacing Project Group (HIP), developed 3 PMPs during the summers of 2007 and 2008. Each of these units consists of two main parts which are; a small single-board computer and a sonde. The units are powered by a solar-charged battery and have the capability to automatically sample, record and upload water parameter data. The water parameters include temperature, pH, conductivity, oxidation-reduction potential, salinity, resistivity, total dissolved solids and dissolved oxygen levels. The data collected by the PMP's is stored in a database in a computer in the Computer Science Department and from there, the data is available for classroom or laboratory use. The designs and technologies used in the development of these units are extensions and modifications of other various projects that the group has developed over the years.
Design - Hardware
The HIP group uses off-the-shelf hardware to develop inexpensive, simple, durable and reliable PMPs. The brains of the unit are enclosed in a weatherproof Pelican case which is customized for mounting the different components of the unit. The case has has 3 main components which are the small single board computer (TS-7260), a charge controller (Phocos CML10-2), a cellphone (Motorola RAZR V3) and a battery (EP28-12 B.B. Battery). The case is carefully modified to allow the attachment of external devices while maintaining its waterproofness. The external components of the PMP include a solar panel (SHARP NE-8OE-NJE) and a sonde (YSI-600R). Each of the component has a specific function and is important to the functionality of the unit. The solar panel is the power source of a PMP, it its attached to the charge controller and it charges the battery which in-turn powers all the other components of the unit. The charge controller monitors the battery's charge levels and charges the battery when necessary. At the same time, the charge controller distributes power from the battery to each component of the unit. The sonde sonde consists of several sensors which are responsible for sampling the water for the different parameters. In our software architecture, the sonde is controlled by the single board computer, however, the sonde is capable of sampling and storing data lots of data by itself. When probed, the sonde reports the data values to the computer which stores them in a files. The computer probes the sonde at a set time interval and is programmed to transmit the data to a database at another time interval. The computer transmits the data by activating an integrated GSM modem in the cellphone and then connects to a server in the CS network. The computer can also receive software update via this link.
Design - Software
Most of the software running on the PMPs is developed and updated on a sever called Stewie. Stewie also contains the database called Infobomb. All the software that runs on both the server and the PMP's is open source. Members of the HIP group are responsible for developing and configuring the software. The most important part of this software stack is Infobomb. Infobomb consists of a web interface written in Python, it is a tool commonly known as Django, that provides access to the data stored in a mySQL database. Infobomb provides a user friendly environment which allows a user to view of the data in a browser, without logging into the database to execute SQL commands.
On top of being a front end to the database, Infobomb provides a reliable data transfer from the PMP's to the database. Infobomb is can store data from different projects and does not need to be reconfigured each time a new project is added. The data in Infobomb is reliable in that, Infobomb detects corrupt data, out of range data and duplicate data. This is done by calculating an MD5 checksum on the client and then sending it along with the data to the server. The sever then re-computes the checksum and compares it against the submitted checksum on the server side.
A collection of programs run on the PMPs. These are used for operations such as task management, communication and data management. The sonde runs its custom vendor's software that helps in data collection, storage and calibration.
During the summer of 2008, the computer science group and chemistry groups visited Springwood Lake here in Richmond IN to sample the water in the lake. The image in the center shows an aerial view of Sringwood Lake from Google Earth, with GPS track-points superimposed on it. The track-points are coordinates where of the lake was sampled. Above the image, is a graph that displays the different water parameters that were sampled at the positions indicated by the lines. The timestamps below the graph can be used to determine the start and end points of the route...