first we installed a new base station closer to the breidamerkurjokull glacier – which had retreated a lot! The new base uses GPRS to send rover data directly to our server.
then installed rover19 at 100m altitude on the glacier
carrying the Fjalls rover20 up to the glacier
new rover20 on Fjalls
We did our first tracker placement using the large UAV (Matrice 300) about 1km away on Breida at an altitude of 130m. We used a camera+release mechanism which gave us a down-looking feed to place it precicely in a safe area (which we can walk to). This tracker 21 has a smaller GPS and radio antenna and a light-weight “quadpod”.
We installed a Browning HP4 camera on the Fjalls base station pole to test it as a way of getting a long sequence of timelapse images. It has their solar panel fitted (small one half way up) – and is filled with lithium AA batteries.
The camera will take a couple of photos after sunrise and before sunset – it is very restrictive on timelapse unlike the Brinno cameras.
We have been doing more tests on the Swarm pico-sat coms with a view to using their system in Iceland.
This graph shows the temperature measurements during 6 days – showing the solar panel charging. On average the modem used 52mA but the battery was providing more like 120mA due to the LEDs and feather board.
Swarm have a system of tiny satellites (11x11x2.8cm) for low data rate communications anywhere on earth. This enables lower cost data access to very remote places.
In my first test I received my message on their Dashboard within a minute (I was not timing!)
A maximum of 192 bytes can be sent on one message – which is OK for batches of sensor readings. Their cloud (“Hive”) has a RESTful API to gather the data easily. We look forward to building an environmental sensor network test with the help of the Swarm team!
In preparation for deploying more systems in Iceland this summer – I updated our spare Piksi Multis and did a garden test. It performed very well!
I set them up to fix at 10Hz but report every 5 readings – so its closer to our slow system in Iceland. The fix hopped around within about 1.5cm – which is good for my garden as the sky box is not that wide.
Today we set up two dGPS units to measure the speed of some of Fjallsjökull glacier. We chose an area of ice which is clearly moving forward towards the lake.
Here is the dGPS system setup on Fjallsjokull, with Jane Hart and Frey
The photo above shows a “quadpod” supporting the GPS units – which are an adaptation of those made by Matthew Roberts of the Icelandic met-office. The idea is to be strong enough to cope with winter and cast few shadows (which cause ice to grow). The system is currently measuring its position every 3hrs to an accuracy of about 2cm – using signals from the base station to help it.
the dGPS base station installed on a moraine close to the Fjallsjokull glacier. We used speaker stands burried in rocks to support the GPS antenna (top) and hold its 2.4GHz radio antenna (white stick). Shortly after this photo I accidentally kicked sand into the laptop keyboard – so it was not so easy to use after that!
View of Fjallsjokull with our deployement being almost in the middle of this photo.