SPAN – A Network Providing Sensor-to-Database End-to-End Services

Terry Benzel
Sridhar Gullapalli

In recent years, advances in sensor network technology have shown great promise to revolutionize environmental data collection. Still, these systems have remained the purview of the engineers and computer scientists who design them rather than the useful tools for the field scientists who could utilize them. Today, while there are many data logging options for basic data collection in the field, scientists are still usually required to travel to the sites to retrieve their data, and manually import it into spreadsheets. A few end-to-end systems that can automatically collect and transfer data to a database exist, but these tend to be overly complex, and usually only work with specific sensors or with proprietary hardware and software.

The Sensor Processing and Acquisition Network (SPAN) provides a robust and flexible sensor network service that supports commercially available hardware to create turnkey solutions for environmental observations systems. The system provides an end-to-end system that enables remote configuration, sensor management, and a variety of field to lab communication mechanisms. The use of a programmable embedded processor for field deployments provides a highly flexible and extensible system for the field scientist while optimizing power and communication approaches.

Our system has been developed through an iterative series of deployment-driven design, build, test, and revise which maximizes technology infusion to the earth scientist. The system is operational in half a dozen field deployments today and is continuing to evolve to advance science in collaboration with field biologists world-wide.

We will describe the SPAN architecture, experiences working with different scientific applications, and an overview of current deployments.

The Workshop is organized by Terry Benzel, Young Cho, Annette DeSchon, Sridhar Gullapalli, David Jui, Fabio Silva, Sam Westrich,  Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California

Session Info

Working Group Session 3

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Longs Peak Boulder Field
Working Group Materials