2016 PCBs

The team have been very busy making new PCBs for the final deployment in two weeks! The MS2 boards were even helped along by ECS’s new pick-and-place machine – but incredibly the Munjtac processor boards were all hand-built!

pcbs for 2016

Sensor Network working well today!

This sensor node links our radio network up into the peat study area

This sensor node links our radio network up into the peat study area

In order to cover the study area over the ridge – we placed this sensor node in a strategic place so it passes traffic across. By this time the packets have come 3km up to the mountain then 1km across to this node – then another 600m down to the peat area.

All this with 868MHz radios running IPv6 (6LowPAN) and CoAP to gather the data!

Arthur-router2

Arthur – our superb intern team member this summer has worked very hard to get the CoAP layer working for the system and has now seen it in action on the mountain.

New Camera at the estate

We’ve just installed a new IP camera at the estate.  This will give us regular images so it’s possible to see what the weather is like, to help plan field trip days, and give information about the snow fall and melt throughout the year.

A view from the estate offices.

An image from the new camera

border router now installed

The system relies on a directional radio link down from the mountain to a sensor node attached to a small Linux-based computer. This is a picture of the setup in a shed in th Estate buildings. We are using an Atom-based mini-ITX computer which routes data from the low power 6LowPAN network to the Internet via the Estate’s satellite link.

ND6_0869 (Medium)

 

This Yagi antenna provides the directional link over 3km to the mountains

This Yagi antenna provides the directional link over 3km to the mountains

PCBs undergoing testing

 

 

It’s all hands on deck getting things ready to head up to Scotland to deploy.  Here are the main PCBs that will be used to form the network in the lined up ready for further testing.The main PCBs during testing

3D printed parts

For this project we are creating custom 3D printed parts for the sensors.  The two parts we are creating are housings for pressure sensors.  One is to be submerged in a river, the other is to measure atmospheric pressure.

 

This is how the parts appear when first removed from the printer.  There support material to make sure the parts don't fall over or droop during printing

This is how the parts appear when first removed from the printer. There support material to make sure the parts don’t fall over or droop during printing

 

The products with the support material removed.

The products with the support material removed.

Main node PCB ready for testing

The first of the main PCBs has now been soldered up and is ready for testing.  This is happening a lot later than we’d have liked due to supply chain issues.  However, the initial testing of the power supplies seems to be positive.

The first generation of mountain sensing PCB

The first generation of mountain sensing PCB