Wireless sensor networks are now producing new data for earth scientists thanks to their use of the latest technologies. Smaller, lower power electronics has combined with smarter communications and behaviour to produce sensor nodes capable of surviving in extreme environments. While there are still issues with interoperability and ease-of-use of wireless sensor networks they promise to provide breakthroughs in environmental sensing which will improve our understanding of our planet. Due to their nature these systems provide a rich environment for a wide range of research topics and the IAM group has been involved in many of these. While some of our research has been closely related to sensing systems other projects are looking at the information space needed to allow greater access to the diverse and complex data from sensor networks.
The Glacsweb project has been developing wireless sensor network technology from the ground up in close collaboration with the School of Geography. In the past six years complete systems ranging from node hardware to communications protocols have been produced and deployed in Glaciers in Norway and Iceland. This has taught us how to engineer systems to not only survive the conditions but manage the risks due to environmental factors, communications losses or even programmer errors. The project has also provided completely new data from inside glaciers which has led to a range of Glaciology papers.
This talk will illustrate the technical advances made in the Iceland deployments, where new probes were placed in 2008 and a new Gumstix-based base station. It will discuss some of the design issues involved in helping the systems survive another winter.
The SemsorGrid4Env project is an EU-funded project designing a semantic-web based system for improving access to environmental data from sensor networks. Two test cases: flood and oceanographic data as well as fire-hazards are being used to drive a system which must allow discovery of data sources via semantic queries as well as the delivery of streaming data sources from live or archived data. An overview of this project will also be given.
My research involves building solutions to complex problems using a combination of electronics and computer science.
I build sensor networks for the environment. I have also worked on imaging and retrieving cultural heritage information. Current research ranges from new WSN node hardware to Semantic Webw and Semantic Sensor Webw research.