Life Under Your Feet

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LUYF is a joint project with Katalin Szlavecz from JHU Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Alex Szalay from JHU Department of Physics & Astronomy. The purpose of the project is to use WSNs to study the environmental conditions which affect soil respiration with fine spatial and temporal resolution.

Our deployments use the Koala data collection system to get data from the field to our visualization tools.

Life Under Your Feet is built for long-term data collection. It has loose data latency requirements, but places a high value on data-recovery rates and long sensor lifetimes. To this end, we use Koala, a reliable data retrieval system which operates at low radio duty cycles, typically on the order of a few percent. Koala achieves this by using Low Power Probing (LPP) to allow the network's nodes to spend the vast majority of their time with the radio off. Koala periodically wakes up the entire network to download the data that nodes have collected and stored locally, then return it to its sleeping state.

In the field, we have had nodes that survive for up to 2 years without battery replacement. Recently, we have incorporated the Phoenix timestamp reconstruction system to increase data usability and data compression to reduce storage and transfer requirements.

We have carried out several long-term deployments in the Baltimore area, as well as shorter deployments in the Atacama desert in Chile, Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, and in the Atlantic coastal rainforest of Brazil.

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