Wireless Technologies Applied to Environmental Variables and Nutrient Loadings

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigators: Miki Hondzo, Associate Professor and William Arnold, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota

Additional Staff: Jeremiah D. Jazdzewski, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota


USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration: 

March 2005 - February 2006


Both spatial and temporal heterogeneities in the environment influence a variety of processes of interest to environmental engineers, geochemists, hydrologists, and policy makers. These spatially an temporally distinct events can only be detected with a real-time embedded networked sensing. The objective of proposed research is to develop a platform for small-scale sensor networks that wirelessly provide real-time data for selected environmental conditions and concentrations. Specifically, we will use recently commercially available sensor boards and processors to measure and transfer environmental parameters, including temperature, light, humidity, wind velocity, pressure, and precipitation along the Mississippi River. Additionally, we will link a commercially available nitrate biosensor to the boards and processors. Through wireless communication, the real-time data will be transferred via the Internet. Without a thorough understanding of how external and environmental conditions/variables affect chemical and biological processes, accurate estimations of concentrations of chemicals and their effects on biota cannot be accurately predicted. Real-time sensing can provide the necessary data to improve such estimations and can be used to propose meaningful best management practices in the environment. The experience developed and data collected from this work will be useful in developing and deploying larger networks. The purchase of the sensors, the development of a small, trial network, and the resulting expertise developed by personnel are all long-term financial and intellectual investments in the University of Minnesota.


Conference Proceedings

Jazdzewski, J.D., M. Hondzo and W.A. Arnold. 2006. Stream Water Quality Monitoring using Wireless Embedded Sensor Networks. Poster Presentation. Minnesota Water 2006 and Annual Water Resources Joint Conference, October 24−25, 2006, Brooklyn Center, MN.

Hondzo, M., Arnold, W.A., Novak, P.J., Hozalski, R.M. 2006. Wireless technologies and embedded networked sensing: application to integrated urban water quality management. ASCE World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. Oral Presentation, Omaha, NE, May 21−26, 2006.