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Long-term Monitoring of the Sierra Nevada Snowpack Using Wireless Sensor Networks

Abstract : Historically, the study of mountain hydrology and the water cycle has been largely observational, with meteorological forcing and hydrological variables extrapolated from a few infrequent manual measurements. Recent developments in Internet of Things (IoT) technology are revolutionizing the field of mountain hydrology. Low-power wireless sensor networks can now generate denser data in real-time and for a fraction of the cost of labor-intensive manual measurement campaigns. The American River Hydrological Observatory (ARHO) project has deployed thirteen low-power wireless IoT networks throughout the American River basin to monitor California’s snowpack. The networks feature a total of 945 environmental sensors, each reporting a reading every 15 minutes. The data reported is made available to the scientific community minutes after it is generated. This paper provides an in-depth technical description of the ARHO project. It details the requirements and different technical options, describes the technology deployed today, and discusses the challenges associated with large-scale environmental monitoring in extreme conditions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 1:39:05 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 10:32:03 AM
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Ziran Zhang, Steven D. Glaser, Thomas Watteyne, Sami Malek. Long-term Monitoring of the Sierra Nevada Snowpack Using Wireless Sensor Networks. IEEE internet of things journal, IEEE, 2020, ⟨10.1109/JIOT.2020.2970596⟩. ⟨hal-01388391⟩

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