Utilizing Embedded Hardware for Remote Algae Detection

The detection Harmful Algae Blooms(HABs) presents a costly and complex problem that threatens bodies of water around the world. Current systems utilize expensive sondes, radios and computers that require a large housing, such as a buoy, that result in costs that can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Presented here is an embedded computer system that can be utilized in coordination with sensors for a low-cost way to collect, relay and analyze water quality data. The aim of the project was to design and fabricate an easily reproducible embedded system and analytical application that could be utilized by scientists and water health officials to automate their water monitoring efforts. The utilization of custom designed and fabricated printed circuit boards allows for flexibility in what sensors scientists could choose to implement, while still maintaining a small and power efficient profile. To achieve the low cost, ATmega 8-bit microcontrollers are utilized for their simplicity and compatibility with many sensors on the market. The cost of one sensor unit is $83.65 and combined with the $37.50 cost of the receiver/ gateway module give the system the ability to sense data around a mile from the base station and upload it to the internet. This system can make water supplies safer by giving constant and advanced notice of the development of HABs.
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Abstract/Description: The detection Harmful Algae Blooms(HABs) presents a costly and complex problem that threatens bodies of water around the world. Current systems utilize expensive sondes, radios and computers that require a large housing, such as a buoy, that result in costs that can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Presented here is an embedded computer system that can be utilized in coordination with sensors for a low-cost way to collect, relay and analyze water quality data. The aim of the project was to design and fabricate an easily reproducible embedded system and analytical application that could be utilized by scientists and water health officials to automate their water monitoring efforts. The utilization of custom designed and fabricated printed circuit boards allows for flexibility in what sensors scientists could choose to implement, while still maintaining a small and power efficient profile. To achieve the low cost, ATmega 8-bit microcontrollers are utilized for their simplicity and compatibility with many sensors on the market. The cost of one sensor unit is $83.65 and combined with the $37.50 cost of the receiver/ gateway module give the system the ability to sense data around a mile from the base station and upload it to the internet. This system can make water supplies safer by giving constant and advanced notice of the development of HABs.
Subject(s): algae; embeded systems; Android; LoRa; low-power radio