Project Leads: Grayland Lunn and Marissa Kwon

Slide Sentinel



Slide Sentinel is a monitoring system currently being designed to detect surface level shifts on known landslides for analysis and alerts. The system will utilize precise acceleration and relative positioning data from an accelerometer and RTK GPS receivers to detect subtle changes in sensor position within 1cm target precision due to land movement.

The Slide Sentinel project offers landowners a low-cost alternative to commercial equipment. With a network of remote low-power sensors, we will be able to detect fast linear slides, and eventually slower soil movements such as creep. Sensor nodes transmit three-dimensional acceleration, Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS coordinates, and sudden shift alerts to a common cellular base station where they are logged to an online spreadsheet to be processed remotely.


  • Provide reliable position and orientation data from multiple nodes in a remote network

  • Provide alerts in case of catastrophic surface-level shifts

  • Use low-cost, low-power micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) to keep cost to a minimum

  • Maintain low power budget to leave sensors in the field for up to 3 months, keeping technicians out of harms way

  • Upload sensor data to the cloud for knowledge on network status and differential monitoring



Slide Sentinel’s first phase of development, proof of concept, was completed this September. A functioning demonstration of a single sensor and base was performed with successful correction of GPS coordinates and uploading to a Google Sheet. The GPS measurements recorded had a relative accuracy of 1cm, showing that the ground-level GPS sensor is viable with proper tuning and corrections.

Post-demonstration, many aspects of the project are being examined for optimization in the forested environment where they will be deployed. See the “Future” section for more details.


Since the demonstration, considerations have been made to add a more precise accelerometer, change the radio network being used to transmit sensor data, and update the cellular capabilities from 2G to satellite. These developments aim to make the system robust and reliable.


Remote Sensing, RTK GPS, GPS Corrections, Landslide Monitoring, Arduino, Accelerometer


  • Landslide Information

    • de Marsily, G. (1986). Quantitative hydrogeology: Groundwater hydrology for engineers.San Diego, CA: Academic.

    • Klotz, S., & Johnson, N. L. (Eds.). (1983). Encyclopedia of statistical sciences, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

  • Tapley, B. D., & Kim, M.-C. (2001). Applications to geodesy. In L.-L. Fu & A. Cazenave (Eds.), Satellite altimetry and Earth sciences: A handbook of techniques and applications(pp. 371–406). San Diego, CA: Academic.

  • Khain, A., Pokrovsky, A., Blahak, U., & Rosenfeld, D. (2008). Is the dependence of warm and ice precipitation on the aerosol concentration monotonic? Paper presented at 15th International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation, Cancun, Mexico.