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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

THE MICROCONTROLLER MEETS WATER SCIENCE: DEVELOPMENT OF INEXPENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSORS USING ARDUINO

Abstract

The Arduino™ microcontroller system provides a high quality platform for constructing custom environmental sensor packages. These packages can be comparable in quality to commercial devices at a fraction of the cost. We have recently designed, constructed, tested and deployed two specialized environmental monitoring devices. The first is a rain gauge that measures rainfall in a remote location and reports the data via Short Message Service (SMS) text to a computer server. Data from a recently deployed network of such sensors is then posted to the internet and can be examined alongside other environmentally relevant quantities. The second package is a Global Positioning System (GPS) sensor interfaced to an Arduino microcontroller equipped with SMS capability. The device is housed in a floating waterproof enclosure and records position and time data in order to monitor current flow in an open body of water. The device location and time data are periodically transmitted via SMS, allowing retrieval of the sensor at the end of the sampling period. Design parameters, device performance, and current status of these projects will be presented.

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