Arnob is a senior at Carnegie Mellon University. In May 2014, he will graduate with a double major in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Arnob has experience in software development and has an interest in medical devices.
It has been a really busy month for the smart farm team. While involved with a lot of activities in school, the team has been hard at work completing the project. The team has gotten further along in the design process. We have been focusing most of our time on the design of the wireless sensor network and the cloud computing aspect of the smart farm. We are implementing a wireless sensor network for the monitoring of the plant and soil factors.
Wireless Sensor Networks consist of three types of nodes. They are: the coordinator/gateway which organizes the network and helps to maintain routing tables; the routers which communicate with coordinator and other routers to reduce the functions of end devices and provide paths for end devices to communicate data to the base station or coordinator; and the end device which interfaces to the physical world. It senses the parameters for which it has been designed and communicates with coordinator through desired routing protocol and forward signal to the base station. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) can be used to monitor different environmental parameters related to agriculture such as temperature, humidity, weather station, leaf wetness and many other parameters. The monitoring of these parameters allows for the efficient management of time and money as well as the maximization of agriculture results.
The sensor node acts as the end device by interfacing to the physical world i.e. it interfaces to the farm sensors to read the farm data like soil temperature, soil moisture and others. The sensor node also acts as a Router due to the powerfully equipped antenna and wireless transmission protocol it uses. The sensor node is based on the Atmega 328P microcontroller and the XBee 2mW Wire Antenna – Series 2 (ZigBee Mesh). For the ZigBee Transceiver, we are using the XBee XB24-Z7WIT-004 module from Digi (XBee 2mW Wire Antenna – Series 2 (ZigBee Mesh). Series 2 improves on the power output and data protocol. Series 2 modules allow one to create complex mesh networks based on the XBee ZB ZigBee mesh firmware. These modules allow a very reliable and simple communication between microcontrollers.
We have carried out some simulations on the sensor node design using the Proteus EDA Software and some other package. Also for our coordinator/gateway, we are using the popular open source hardware, the Arduino. We are currently deciding between two design models. One is based on the Arduino Uno, Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield and some other shields while the other is an unpopular development board, the Gboard (http://imall.iteadstudio.com/im120411004.html). Although we have faced some few challenges, we are looking forward to setting up working sensor network soon on a real farm. It will be fun. As for our Cloud part of the farm system, things seem to be going well as we have already created a design layout.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! We would like to thank IBM for choosing our team to be a recipient of the Students for a Smarter Planet Grant. This trip would not be possible without this help, and we hope to use the funds to make difference and benefit as many people as we can. We are so excited about our projects, and we hope you enjoy reading about our upcoming experiences we will share.
Our team consists of seven students from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T), and we are all members of Engineers & Scientists Abroad, or ESA for short. Five members of the group are studying civil engineering, but we also have a geological engineering major, a computer science major, and, saving the best field of study for last, a chemical engineering major (that’s me, if you couldn’t tell). We have been preparing to head to Bogotá, Colombia for almost a year, and we will finally make it happen a week from today! Our first flight takes off on Saturday, March 8th and our last one returns on Saturday, March 15th. We will have one week to spend working with a group of students at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) to complete two separate projects.
The two projects are:
1) A geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area
2) A rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia
Overall, the project teams plan to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems to impact this deserving community. These projects will not only benefit the people of Usme, but also everyone involved. By collaborating with the students from PUJ, we hope to exchange ideas and gain as much knowledge as we can to strengthen our development into global engineers.
This week we will put together everything we need for the trip and fix those last minute designs.
We can’t wait for this awesome adventure!
STEM Workshop and Water Infrastructure Installation
This orphanage is located in the Andes Mountains near Vicuna, Chile and operated by Vocations for Orphans (VFO). Their goal is to provide a home and useful trade skills to orphans who have aged out of urban orphanages (13+ years old). SDSM&T’s Engineers and Scientists Abroad (ESA) will continue improving the orphanage’s infrastructure by maintaining and installing two water purification systems, solar cookers, a solar water heater, a water storage tank, and a greywater system. The ESA team will also conduct academic lessons throughout their stay focused on engineering principles, such as material strengths, fluid pressure, and harnessing solar energy.
Yes, this won an award too.
Usme Landslide Mitigation & Rainwater Harvesting
The two projects are: 1) a geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area and 2) a rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia. These two projects blend well with each other and impact a deserving community. For example, a solution to decrease the landslide activity is to drain groundwater from the
mountainside, which could be combined with the rainwater for a large volume of usable greywater. Overall, the project teams plan is to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems.