Large-scale environmental monitoring requires an extremely reliable, scalable and resilient wireless network solution that can be deployed densely, run on batteries for an extended length of time, and operate in the harshest of environments.
Benefits of wireless sensor networks in remote monitoring:
- Minimizes need for battery replacement with ultra-low power consumption for extended battery life
- Reduces maintenance by ensuring high reliability
- Enables coverage in difficult terrain and large spatial areas
- Endures harsh weather conditions
In the case of CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society) in collaboration with Roger C. Bales, UC Merced, and Steven D. Glaser, UC Berkeley, they needed to measure and report on conditions of the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Snow information is used to anticipate droughts and floods, to equably allocate water resources between the public and private sectors of the economy, and is key to agricultural planning. In addition to snow depth, they also needed to measure solar radiation, relative humidity, soil moisture, matric potential, and temperature.
The SmartMesh products underpinning this water management solution provide long battery life, intelligent networking features and detailed network statistics for optimizing sensor placement that allow CITRIS to efficiently gather real-time water content data from the snow pack, using hundreds of sensors distributed throughout a remote, mountainous and environmentally harsh region.