The Open-Sensing Lab at OSU is a USDA-funded rapid prototyping lab that specializes in biological, ecological, environmental, and agricultural sensing and research. From soldering stations to 3D printers to laser cutters, our lab provides the tools necessary for students, professors, and researchers alike to develop technologies used locally and worldwide by the ecological science and engineering communities.



project overviews



Project Lead: Mitch Nelke

The OPEnSampler is an openly published water sampler capable of sampling from various sources into either mylar bags or hard plastic bottles. Printed circuit boards interface with an Arduino Uno microcontroller to control an array of 24 solenoid valves, allowing the sampling containers to be sealed from the environment when they are done filling. The entire device fits in Pelican's 80QT Wheeled Cooler which retains ice for up to 10 days.



Evaporometer & LoRa Hub

Project Lead: Marissa Kwon, Tom Debell

This environmental sensor system aims to collect, store, and offer near-real-time visualization of the data. It collects relative humidity and temperature, rain and evaporation rates, and soon will be collecting albedo data. The whole system is housed in a custom-made 3D printed case, runs on a 3.7V 2500mAh battery, and transmits over a Long Range (LoRa), low power wireless platform. The evaporometer is only the transmitting part of the system; the other half is the receiving end where all the data is acquired and processed for the google spread sheet on which the data is displayed.



RFID Soil Moisture

Project Lead: Brett Stoddard

Passive RFID tags with capacitor banks that can detect the presence of moisture hold great promise for wireless detection of volumetric water content (VWC) in soil without the need for batteries. The purpose of this project is to show a correlation between moisture readings taken from the commercially available SmarTrac Dogbone RFID tag and the volumetric water content of the soil. Regression models are being explored to translate these 60-cent tags into the functionality of $300 industry standard sensors.



Rain Gauge Calibrator

The objective of this project was to develop and validate a freely downloadable, open-source, 3D printed rain gauge calibrator that can be adjusted for a wide range of gauges. The proposed calibrator provides for applying low, medium, and high intensity flow, and allows the user to modify the design to conform to unique system specifications based on parametric design, which may be modified and printed using computer-aided design (CAD) software. Laboratory tests showed that flow rates were consistent between prints, and between trials of each part, while the total applied water was precisely controlled by the use of a volumetric flask as the reservoir.





Project lead: Elad LevintalLars Larson

Advances in gas sensors and open-source hardware (e.g., Arduino) are enabling new options for low-cost and light-weight gas sampling devices that are also robust and easy to use and duplicate. In this project, we are developing a complete system for high-accuracy measurements of: temperature, relative humidity, luminosity, and CO2 concentrations. All measurements are logged with a GPS location and time-stamp. The system is assembled from only off-the-shelf products, with a total cost of less than $300. Validation of the system is conducted in a greenhouse.




Project lead: Manuel Lopez

This project intends to create a modular linear motion system that can extend as long or short as needed. The system consists of a single stepper motor, stepper motor driver, microcontroller, aluminum extrusion and carriage assembly. Fishing line is used to drive the system; this brings down the cost of the system. The system will be able to be used using just the Arduino IDE or with the HyperGUI.