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Massively Deployable, Low-Cost Airborne Sensor Motes for Atmospheric Characterization

Michael Bolt, J. Craig Prather, Tyler Horton, Mark Adams
Wireless Sensor Network , Volume 12, pp 1-11; doi:10.4236/wsn.2020.121001

Abstract: A low-cost airborne sensor mote has been designed for deployment en masse to characterize atmospheric conditions. The designed environmental sensing mote, or eMote, was inspired by the natural shape of auto-rotating maple seeds to fall slowly and gather data along its descent. The eMotes measure and transmit temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed estimates alongside GPS coordinates and timestamps. Up to 2080 eMotes can be deployed simultaneously with a 1 Hz sampling rate, but the system capacity increases by 2600 eMotes for every second added between samples. All measured and reported data falls within accuracy requirements for reporting with both the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This paper presents the design and validation of the eMote system alongside discussions on the implementation of a large-scale, low-cost sensor network. The eMote represents unprecedented in-situ atmospheric measurement capabilities with the ability to deploy more than 260 times the number of sensing units as the most comparable commercially available dropsonde.
Keywords: biomimetic / airborne / Atmospheric Sensing / Mf-tdma

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