Start of Spring Update

Start of Spring Update

Smart Rock rev 2 has been making great progress! Current focus has been around finalizing what electrical components will be used and minimizing the overall size of the Smart Rock.

As you can read in our last blog post, preliminary sensor testing has been completed. Since then, we have integrated the sensors together with a custom PCB that will be used in the Smart rock.

Over the past few weeks, the Smart Rock team has been collaborating with Laurie Childers to design a ceramic cover for the Smart Rock. This cover will act as protection, camouflage, and means of securing the smart rock in place.

Next steps include:

  • Running calibration tests for the total dissolved solids sensor we are working with

  • Integrating and testing Bluetooth communications with OPEnS Project LOOM

  • Finalize components and minimize components used to save space

  • Finalize the current case design

  • Identify methods of securing the Smart Rock to stream beds using the ceramic cover

Sensor Testing Complete

Tests have been conducted on the following sensors: pressure, temperature, turbidity, and electrical conductivity/total dissolved solids. These sensors have been implemented into LOOM_Library. This iteration of Smart Rock will include these six measurements.

In future Smart Rocks, water velocity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and nitrate will be researched for implementation. We look forward to determining the feasibility of these measurements closer to the summer of this year.

Additionally, this Smart Rock will utilize a Reed Switch. The switch allows for the Smart Rock to remain dormant until a user interacts by holding a magnet near the device. Smart Rock can save battery this way.

This Smart Rock will also use a feather m0 adalogger featherwing- an add-on to the feather m0 that has a real time clock and micro SD storage.

For the upcoming weeks, a custom PCB, internal structure, and external structure will be designed to make the Smart Rock compact, water proof, and electronics accessible. A ceramic shell will be custom made to make the device look like a rock while keeping electronics hidden.

Smarter Rock

Smart Rock Rev 2 is making headway as the new staff catch up with the project. New design criteria is being laid out and tasks are being distributed. The two task categories are electrical and mechanical. On the electrical side, an optical flow sensor has been purchased to test and see about possible use. The sensor will be used for water flow rates. Reed switches are coming in to be tested as an option. The Smart Rock would ideally be off for the majority of the time while deployed to conserve battery. A reed switch can be used to turn on the rock, connect, and collect data. On the mechanical side, the rock will now be horizontal rather than vertical and more water-tight than previously. OPEnS House is coming up soon and a poster is being put together.