Senior Design Projects

ECS193 A/B Winter & Spring 2021

Sensing Localized Soil Conditions

Name Emily Schlickman
Affiliation UC Davis

Project's details

Project title Sensing Localized Soil Conditions
Background This is a pilot project to develop low-cost DIY monitoring devices that can collect in-situ data, both instantaneous and batched, on localized soil conditions. The primary drivers for the project include: the high cost of traditional monitoring systems, the need to better assess landscape performance, the spatial gaps in current soil assessments, and the often invisible nature of environmental data. The project aims to democratize soil condition data, empower members of the public to build their own devices, raise awareness about soil health, and to speculate about how this data might inform future adaptive management regimes.
Description The project will involve experimenting with data loggers to build low-cost sensors for measuring soil moisture and soil temperature. There will be two main sensor outputs. The first output will be a mobile app showing batched geospatial soil condition data. The second output will be in-situ acrylic rods with LEDs that are activated with light once certain environmental thresholds are met (see Stoss’ Eda U. Gerstacker Grove as a visual precedent).
Deliverable The proposed testing ground for this project will be the courtyard of Hunt Hall at UC Davis. Once prototypes are built for both the sensor and the mobile app, the system will be tested on campus. The sensors will be deployed across a range of landscape typologies in the courtyard – from a green roof to a swale to a meadow – to better understand spatiotemporal variability in soil moisture and temperature. To withstand outdoor conditions, the sensors will be ruggedized and will rely either on battery or solar-power. Additionally, the research time will be able to access real time soil data through the mobile app. Lastly, the team will develop a DIY build guide for the system.
Skill set desirable Experience or interest in developing sensors and mobile apps
Phone number 14157268385
Client time availability 30-60 min weekly or more
IP requirement Open source project
Attachment Click here
Selected N/A
Stuff N/A