Osborn Environmental Sensor Network

Fred Galbreath youngermeadow, woodland, vistaFred Galbreath older

Sensors networks are an emerging field in the environmental sciences. Master's Student Sen Guan worked with the Center to develop a series of telecommunication towers allowing sensors to collect and transmit data from remote locations on the Preserve. This project designs an outdoor autonomous Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) for the Fairfield Osborn Preserve. The network allows existing weather stations and other sensors to connect to network and upload data automatically. Results of the study include recommendations for transmission efficiency for a permanent network.

Project Lead(s): Sen Guan (Advisor: Farid Farahmand)

Dates: Fall 2011 to Spring 2012

Scholarship: Master's Thesis

Funding: Center for Environmental Inquiry; Instructionally Related Student (IRA) program

Faculty:  Farid Farahmand (Engineering); Jack Ou (Engineering); Ali Koojury (Engineering)

Students: Sen Guan (Engineering)

Partners: SSU Preserve, Engineering Science Department

The proposed preserve network comprises three types of nodes: Controller Node, Intermediate Node, and End Node. The Controller Node has a wired Internet access and is in charge of data roaming. The other two nodes can be set in the field to extend the wireless signal coverage. There is no AC power resource outside the building of FOP and the intermediate and end nodes are powered by the same solar power system. Besides the hardware design, this paper also introduces some fundamental theories for the WLAN characterizations, radio wave propagation, antenna principle, environmental impacts of signal attenuation, and the solar power system. The last part of the paper includes some experimental testing results and analysis. Through experimental measurements, we demonstrate that the modified indoor network devices can be effective alternatives for the expensive outdoor devices in an outdoor WLAN design. By increasing the transmit power and antenna height, the FOPW design overcomes the huge path loss due to foliage. We also evaluate the performance of FOPW under different weather conditions.

Master's Thesis: Guan, Sen. 2012.Fairfield Osborn Preserve Outdoor Autonomous Wireless Network Design and Implementation for FOP. M.S. Thesis: Computer and Engineering Science, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California.