Wireless Sensor Network Springbrook
- What is happening?
- Latest updates
- What is planned?
- Why Springbrook?
- More information
What is happening?
Wireless monitoring equipment at Springbrook. Photo: CSIRO
World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park is the site for a state-of-the-art monitoring system being developed through a collaborative project between EHP, CSIRO, the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society and other Government agencies. This system will track the restoration of biodiversity at the site and provide insights into how microclimates and biodiversity of the Springbrook plateau change over time.
A wireless sensor network is a collection of mini computers, each with several sensors plugged into them. These sensor nodes "talk" to each other using wireless technology and transfer their data in real-time back to a central hub before being transferred over the Internet to a database.
There are currently 50 sensor nodes and over 200 individual sensors deployed at Springbrook, monitoring temperature, humidity, rainfall, light, leaf wetness, soil moisture, wind speed and wind direction.
This project aims to enhance knowledge of rainforest restoration and its effectiveness at recovering biodiversity, as well as to develop an improved efficient tool for monitoring biodiversity and its condition.
- April 2008: Nine sensor nodes deployed, each with sensors measuring leaf wetness, soil moisture, temperature, humidity and wind (direction and speed).
- June 2008: Sensor node software updated and tenth sensor node deployed - stage one complete.
- August 2008: Evaluating a range of sensors and collecting data for planning stage two.
- April 2009: Stage 2 of the project has begun. Field trials of new sensors and the addition of more nodes to the network will begin in the coming months. New sensors will include rainfall, light and vegetation growth.
- February 2010: Forty new sensor nodes deployed and existing ten nodes upgraded. New sensors include rainfall, barometric pressure, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and total solar radiation.
- July 2010: Stage 3 planning underway.
- February 2011: Final preparation is underway for stage 3 deployments. An additional 125 sensor nodes will be deployed between now and the end of May 2011. A range of new sensors will start collecting information on tree growth, carbon dioxide concentrations, cloud cover and fog density.
What is planned?
Over the next 12 months, a network of up to 175 sensor nodes will be deployed at the Springbrook site, measuring a wide range of indicators.
This extensive network will include bio-acoustic and potentially video monitoring technologies. Bio-acoustic techniques will analyse the sounds of animals to proivde valuable information on the return of biodiversity to regenerating areas. This method is currently under development.
Automated video monitoring techniques are also being investigated to help support the automated identification of species.
The challenging and diverse environment in and around Springbrook National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, presents a perfect proving ground for this innovative technology.
The Springbrook site presents a unique opportunity to work on land which is being restored from agricultural grassland to native rainforest vegetation. Springbrook is a high rainfall environment displaying a wide range of environmental gradients, features which will help assess the suitability of the technology to deliver information from a complex environment.
This type of technology has primarily been developed for use in the mining, medical and defence industries. Queensland is leading the way in implementing this technology for large scale environmental monitoring, and the applications are almost limitless.
Additional indicators including light, rainfall, fog sensors, carbon dioxide, water quality, acoustics and video are all being investigated as part of the broader deployment.
These indicators will have application in areas including water quality, agriculture, satellite remote sensing, forestry, horticulture, climate change and others on local, national and international stages.
This system is using CSIRO's Wireless Sensor Network technology. These nodes can communicate at distances of up to 500m and will be developed to integrate with a variety of environmental and biodiversity sensors.
Sensors currently in use include:
- Wind speed and direction
- Temperature & Humidity
- Barometric pressure
- Leaf wetness
- Soil moisture
- Soil water potential (available water in soil)
- Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)
- Total solar radiation
- Tree diameter (growth rate)
- Sap flow in trees (water use)
Please have a look at the Wireless Sensor Information Sheet
or contact the department at Queensland.Herbarium@science.dsitia.qld.gov.au for more information.
* Requires Adobe Reader