Project lead: Samantha Edwards edwarsam@oregonstate.edu

Smart Rock

OVERVIEW

Current hydrological modelling is missing data from small and seasonal streams. Data collection on these streams is sparse with measurements, if any data is taken at all. Small streams are often ignored in hydrological modelling by entities that generate public data of water resources. The ecological health of habitats for fish depends on the flow of these small streams during different seasons.

Smart Rock aims to create a low-cost device to monitor remote streams through citizen science. The device could be used as a learning tool for students, teachers, and other citizen scientists. Deploying Smart Rock in streams will allow for more accurate data collection of small and seasonal streams. Smart Rock is currently focused on providing a deployable sensor suite for CrowdWater, a citizen science project that provides opportunities for non-researchers to collect data on the quality of streams.

The Smart Rock is a submersible sensor suite that monitors pressure, temperature, turbidity, and electrical conductivity/total dissolved solids. A reed switch is implemented allowing the Smart Rock to remain dormant until a user interacts by holding a magnet near the device. This triggers Bluetooth communications between the Smart Rock and the user.

Beyond the sensors, components of the Smart rock include the Adafruit Feather M0 Bluefruit LE with Adalogger attachment. The Feather M0 acts as the main microcontroller for Smart Rock giving inputs to sensors, other electronics, and reading outputs. Bluetooth capability of the Feather is used to connect Smart Rock to the user interface. Implementing the Adalogger allows for a microSD card attachment to log data collected by sensors connected to the Feather. The Adalogger also has a Real Time Clock that can be used with the Feather to take data at specific times. All of these components are integrated into a custom Smart Rock printed circuit board (PCB).

Electrical Components Being Implemented into the Current Iteration of The Smart Rock

Electrical Components Being Implemented into the Current Iteration of The Smart Rock

Objectives

  • Collect data on pressure, temperature, turbidity, and electrical conductivity/total dissolved solids at water depths of up to 2 meters

  • Create a simple to use, low cost, compact device that can be used for citizen science projects such as CrowdWater

  • Openly publish the device so that more crowd sourced hydrological data can be collected and shared by more people

 

OUTCOMES

Electronics and Internal Structure of the First Iteration of the Smart Rock

Electronics and Internal Structure of the First Iteration of the Smart Rock

A demonstrative proof of concept was created in March 2018. It was not waterproof, but included a battery, microcontroller and pressure sensor. The device could communicate with a user's phone via Bluetooth and send information such as battery voltage, air pressure, and air temperature. The first iteration of the Smart Rock was centered on this core functionality but included SD storage for data, a solar cell and charger, and a waterproof shell.

Since then, a new design has been developed for the waterproof case using union PVC fittings for a better, water tight seal that grants easier access to the electronics. More sensors have been implemented into the design allowing for more data to be collected by the Smart Rock. The SD card breakout has been replaced with the M0 Adalogger making it easier to store this data. The solar cell and charger have also been removed from the Smart Rocks design. Instead, a reed switch has been implemented so that the Smart Rock can remain dormant until the user triggers it. When the Smart Rock is “dormant” it will wake up for small time periods to collect data, using low power. The user activation triggers the Smart Rock to send data through Bluetooth, which uses a larger amount of power. The battery can have a longer lifespan by allowing the Smart Rock to be in the lower power, dormant state for the majority of its deployed time. For the current iteration of the Smart Rock, the goal is to have a battery life of ~6 months.

Concept Sketch of the Waterproof Case Design With Union PVC fittings

Concept Sketch of the Waterproof Case Design With Union PVC fittings

 

FUTURE

Ceramic Cover Sample / Example

Ceramic Cover Sample / Example

In the nearer future of the Smart Rock, the full design implementing sensors for turbidity, and electrical conductivity/total dissolved solids and the new waterproof case needs to be finalized, tested, and documented. A ceramic cover will also be created and implemented in this iteration to be used as both a way of holding the Smart Rock in place and keeping the Smart Rock from looking intrusive to its surroundings. In the further future, sensors such as dissolved oxygen, optical flow, pH, and nitrate will be explored and possibly integrated into a new iteration of the Smart Rock.

 

BLOG

KEYWORDS

OPEnS, SmartRock, Smart Rock, Feather M0, Adalogger, Arduino, Stream, Water Monitor, Hydrological Data, Hydrological Monitoring, Pressure, Temperature, Electrical Conductivity, Dissolved Solids, Turbidity


REFERENCES

  • Websites

    • https://crowdwater.ch/en/welcome-to-crowdwater/

  • Software

    • Fusion360. (2018). San Rafael, California: Autodesk.

    • EAGLE CAD. (2018). San Rafael, California: Autodesk.