EnviroSensing Collaboration Area: Sensors and Sensibility


The ESIP EnviroSensing Collaboration Area was organized around the need to create resource guides and share deployment strategies for real-time sensor networks. This session is intended to provide a forum for sharing current research efforts in the management of sensor networks and sensor data and will feature the following talks:

Janet Fredericks will describe an update on the X-DOMES project (Cross-Domain Observational Metadata Environmental Sensing) funded by NSF as part of the EarthCube Integrative Activities. The X-DOMES project’s primary goal is to work with sensor manufacturers to encourage them to begin to fully-describe sensors using a combination of controlled-vocabularies, OGC-SWE,  SensorML and the Semantic Web.  This update will feature the importance of sensor and processing metadata and in creating standardized methods for communicating this information.

Mike Botts will focus on the OpenSensorHub which allows you to easily, rapidly, and affordably transform networked sensors into a seamless SensorWeb of real-time, location-aware, interoperable, web accessible services.

Vasu Kilaru will discuss the elements necessary to take full advantage of new sensor technologies. The development and proliferation of new sensor technology and the internet of things (IoT) is having a profound effect on environmental monitoring.  Once the purview of government and academia, sensors have democratized this function such that anyone has the capability to do environmental monitoring of things like air quality and water quality.  But in order for this brave new world of cell phones and sensors to contribute constructively to society a number of structural/infrastructural developments are needed. 

The EnviroSensing Collaboration Area welcomes other related talks or reports into this session.


1. Don Henshaw: intro
Overview of cluster history: est in 2014 out of Hubbard Brook Environmental Sensor Workshop

-Training sessions at LTER Network Office in Albuquerque
-Best practices development --> resource guide covering a variety of topics
-Monthly telecons
-this year: emphasis has been primarily on XDOMES (led by Janet Fredericks)
2. Janet Fredericks, WHOI: X-DOMES Project
EarthCube Integrative Activities
Focusing on sensor metadata creation; data quality assessment; sensor interoperability; automated metadata generation; content management
Store data with provenance, etc. make it more interoperable so it can be harvested with appropriate metadata, be used, etc.
Linked with Semantic Web capabilities to help link/build ontologies
XDOMES covers just the first few steps toward cross-domain interoperability
Community Ontology Repository
-create with a simple spreadsheet links to content that can into whatever you use
-working on SensorML editor to make it user-friendly
Moving into assessment phase
Approaching sensor manufacturers in October
Janet ran through an SOS example
Try the ESIP Community Ontology: http://cor.esipfed.org
To participate: join EnviroSensing cluster or EarthCube working group

3. Mike Botts, Botts Innovative Research Inc: OpenSensorHub & SWE
What is OpenSensorHub? collaborative, open-source project aimed at developing software to allow anyone to easily build smart and scalable sensor networks interconected through OGC sensor standards
Objectives: Implement full OGC SWE vision, hide the complexity, make it easy to deploy/develop new sensor drivers, allow efficient live data streaming and stream processing, support multiple computing platforms
SWE is all about interoperability between sensors, actuators, and processing
Why OpenSensorHub?

-from scratch, SWE is too hard to deploy
-need for open-source software that is SWE-compliant, efficient/modular/scalable, easy to deploy and configure with very little or no software development
Bigger picture
-Interconnected SensorHubs
-processing capabilities to some extent at all nodes in the network
-Freedom and flexibility are key
Deployed on a variety of platforms currently
Can connect sensors to your phone: use phone as portal to OpenSensorHub on the Cloud
Don't have to set up a bunch of software in order to use it; just download and unzip; web-based configuration interface
Applications of SWE and OSH
-plume model, satellite data with on-the-fly geolocation, doppler radar displayed in 3D, body cams, UAVs...
Question: Places to host sensor data? Sensor.io is one, also OpenAQ...
4. Vasu Kilaru, National Exposure Research Laboratory, US EPA: Sensors & Sensibility - democratized sensing and exposure science
Environmental monitoring is NOT just feds and academics anymore
-now have decentralized data from lower-cost air sensors, crowd sourcing, civilian science, social media --> requires new infrastructure and capabilities to be broadly useful
-weather underground as an analogy?
-privacy issues
-big data assimilation effort --> better forecasting
What is exposure science data? --> a LOT of things
low cost air sensor types
variability in sensor response --> variability in level of data quality (but also you don't need super high quality data for certain applications)
-sometimes even the exact same sensors from the same manufacturers perform differently (yikes...) --> not clear why this happens
Village Green Project
-stations in a variety of locations around the country; cheaper reference instruments
source monitoring with truck --> can pick up leaks, etc. (otherwise can be very hard to detect -- lots of manpower)
need standards from sensor manufacturers, data layer needs to be open and interoperable, no proprietary stove-pipe solutions, a free public data commons for air sensor data, 3rd party sensor performance evaluation, ongoing calibration, sensor lifetime issues, services for delivering value and meaning to air sensor data
Henshaw, D.; Fredericks, J.; Kilaru, V.; Botts, M.; EnviroSensing Collaboration Area: Sensors and Sensibility; 2016 ESIP Summer Meeting. ESIP Commons , March 2016