Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Introduction to Emerging Technologies for Environmental Data Monitoring: Loggers to Sensors Networks to the Cloud

We have been invited by Michael Pollard 
to attend this professional development  
course and bring along some of our 
real-time detection systems 
(for long-term air monitoring)  
to demonstrate for  the attendees. 
We are delighted to have this opportunity 
and look forward to participating and 
learning from our friends and colleagues.

All Day Wednesday, June 6, 2012 (8am - 5pm)
"An Introduction to Emerging Technologies for
Environmental Data Monitoring: Loggers to Sensors 
Networks to the Cloud" 
 Francesco Peri, Michael Pollard, and Robert Stevenson ( Instructor Bio's)

Course Overview
Automation of environmental monitoring tasks can reduce the need for people to be on site
and increase the quality of data in support of site assessment, research objectives or policy
decisions. Recent advances in ground based and remote sensors; data gathering, sharing,
and integration; and modeling schemes that have been deployed in weather forecasting are
now being applied to a wider range of environmental monitoring tasks in air, water, soil 
from local to regional scales. Reductions in costs of sensors and instrument packages and 
the ubiquity of internet services are facilitating these advancements. However, the breadth 
of technology available often seems daunting. This short-course is designed to introduce 
emerging environmental monitoring technologies to academic researchers, 
consultants/industry, and governmental employees.
We will provide specific examples of environmental monitoring systems to illustrate 
general design challenges. An analyses framework will be presented to help students judge 
which, if any, of these technologies are appropriate for the specific monitoring programs 
they want to implement. Students and presenters will undertake design charrettes to 
further illustrate system design options. Students will work with homegrown and 
commercial systems on site to gain concrete experience.Course Objectives

1) Provide an overview of new technologies, both hardware and software, used 
for the collection and storage of environmental data

2) Introduce the technical language, sensors, power requirements, 
transmission options,packaging issues, and cost considerations that underlie 
the designs of these systems

3) Gain experience applying an analysis framework to decide if these new 
monitoring technologies might be of benefit to your monitoring studies

4) Compare current offerings from some of the leading vendors and describe 
trends in component and systems development
5) Give students hands on experience with home grown and commercial 
monitoring systems.

Target Audience
Biologists, ecologists, chemists, environmental scientists, site managers,
regulators, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students

Course Schedule and Agenda
North Atlantic Chapter - SETAC

  • 8:00 am -9:45 am
    1.  Defining the monitoring challenge - Analysis Framework
      • What are the necessary sensor signals to address the monitoring goals?
      • How fast does the signal change/what resolution is required? Considerations for sampling frequency
      • Types of field deployments (emphasis on aquatic but will mention air sampling as well)
        • Hand-held instruments
        • Land or platform-based fixed installations
        • Subsurface installation
      • Review of current literature
      • Project considerations: time, logistics, data quality needs, $$$  
    2. Sensors
      • What is out there that satisfies my signal requirements?
      • Sensor types and sensor characterization
      • Types of data generated by an environmental sensor (i.e., form of the observation – electrical signal (analog or digital)
      • Special conditions
    3. Selecting the Appropriate Technology for my problem
      • Aligning technology with the environmental question
        1. Monitor endpoints
        2. Accuracy
        3. Number of functions
      • Physical capabilities of technology -What is Power?
        1. Instrument - warm up, sample interval
        2. Logging
        3. Telemetry
        4. Duty cycle
        5. Source - solar, wind, water, line
        6. Storage –  batteries, power density, how long will it run without charging?
        7. Managing cycles - optimizing low power sampling and high power transmission
    4. Field Deployment Considerations: Location and Packaging
      • Environment - harsh environments, hazardous conditions, and vandals
      • Enclosures and ratings
      • Fittings
      • Wires
      • Functional Mounting, durability,  safety
      • Lightning
  • 9:45 am -10:00 am Morning Break
  • 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
    1. Logging and Telemetry
      How to get data from the instrument to the lab/office:
      • Paper output- still used ( UMB freezer failure story)
      • Hardwire data transmission in field situations -  RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485
      • Hardwire downloads of data from instruments to computer
      • 6 to 8 Telemetering systems: data rates, power, costs
    2. Data Handling
      • Onboard data processing – averaging (intervals keyed to variability in the parameter of interest
      • Output forms of and management of data from sensors:  analog or digital meters, storage options for data (types – advantages and shortcomings)
      • Preprocessing of data - Error checking algorithms – what they can do, utility, real-time feedback possibilities
      • Post Processing - Endpoint calibration
    3. Models - Getting more out of the data
      • Power Monitoring
      • Sensor Functioning
      • Range check variables for alerts
      • Integration with other data
      • Forecasting
    4. Data Management Plans  - An Introduction
      • The issues
      • Resources
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch Break
  • 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
    1. Systems Discussions – Case Studies and Field Demos of Monitoring Systems
      Case studies
      • Air: H2S air monitoring around landfills, ambient air monitoring and data telemetering at Logan Airport, Boston;
      • Water: fish tracking, coastal environmental sensor networks; wave or current meter installations, subsurface deployments
  • 2:45 pm  Afternoon Break
  • 3:00 pm
    1. On Site Field Demonstrations
      • Home grown systems – Tide gauge, RFID - animal activity, Swan package - Water physicals and chemistry
      • Commercial vendors
    2. Wrap Up
      • Question and answer
      • Course evaluations
  • 5:00 pm Adjourn


(by 5/01/12)
Full Registration
(after 5/01/12)
Student (day attendee)
$200.00$250.00NACSETAC members / Government employees
4/01/2012 deadline - full meeting student package ($175.00)

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