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Environmental Monitoring

IoT has made a host of things possible that will transform our lives forever. Building on the impact made by the internet, this bit of tech uses an internet connection in devices that are not specially built for a net usage. IoT is used to collect data from different sources and combine it for various purposes. Some uses include smart homes/ cities, environmental monitoring, solar energy management, healthcare, agriculture and more. In essence, it can be used in practically every area of life to make things easier.

One of the major problems that this age needs to tackle is global warming and pollution. Pollutants have saturated everything around us and are only piling on. Harmful chemicals and contaminants fill the air, earth and water everywhere. The erasure of parts of the ozone layer has cause global warming which in turn is leading to national disasters all around the world. While we cannot undo the damage done, out only option is to contain the disaster and manage it in ways that can preserve the resources left to us. Thankfully, IoT provides an array of solutions. Natural resources like air, water, soil and forests are monitored for pollutants, contaminants, and leakage. Fisheries can be monitored for animal health and poaching. Snowfall levels can be monitored for avalanche prevention and tabs can be kept for prediction and prevention of natural disasters. Even water levels in trees can be monitored to conserve their health.

Environmental monitoring often involves long range connection which makes Bluetooth and WiFi tech a poor choice. While Wi-Fi has longer range than Bluetooth, it is still confined by certain limits. Mesh topologies do not work either because the sensors might not be close enough for efficient data combination and usage.

For environmental monitoring, Low Power, Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) has proven to be the best option. Its ability to connect devices in the field for a long time and send small amounts of data over a wide range makes it the perfect choice. Some needs are small and specific and require data to be sent only at particular, preset triggers. Here are some advantages of LPWANs.

  • Its long battery resilience enables it to function perfectly in areas which cannot be manually monitored too often. Many LPWAN technologies allow for usage of sustainable resources like solar energy.
  • It provides better performance than mobile networks at a pocket-friendly cost. The end nodes and antennas can be set at 500 meters to over 10 kilometers apart thus making it long-range friendly. High density sensors enable monitoring of anything from air quality to forest fires. Packet sizes vary from 10 to 1,000 bytes at uplink speeds up to 200 Kbps.
  • LPWANS can be installed remotely with satellite backhaul so that the gateway maintains an internet connection 24*7.

The dream for a cleaner environment with optimum resource management is possible with smart, informed choices. Choose wisely.

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[…] actuator is the component that acts on the information that is picked up by the sensor. For e.g. A pollution monitoring system will not need an actuator. An interface to display the recorded information at the destination end […]

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