Paper No. 112-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
REAL TIME MEASUREMENTS OF STREAM STAGE AND TEMPERATURE WITH LOW COST DISTRIBUTED SENSORS
A major issue in watershed management is the the lack of hydrologic data in remote and ungaged watersheds. Our project demonstrates an method for collecting real time stream stage data for around $200 that can be adapted to data scarce regions of the country. Using a microcontroller and GSM radio module pair (our implementation used an Arduino and SIM900 combination) it is possible to deploy a remote sensor that will collect real time data for months at a time. These data can then be transmitted via SMS or FTP to a base station for logging and processing. The sensor that we have constructed measures water depth and temperature, but our system and software are flexible such that any analog or digital signal can be processed and transmitted from the module to the base station. Our goal was to develop a cheap sensor with accessible components for collecting real time data on stream level and temperature. With this system it is possible for anyone to collect real-time continuous data with minimal programming and engineering training. Preliminary results show this instrument's accuracy and battery life are suitable for monitoring over a period of months under standard field conditions. Our hardware schematics and software are freely available for use by both professional and amateur scientists alike.