News Update: Big Steps / End of Season

What’s Happening

School has started and a number of educators are asking about how they can use the dendrometer sensors in their STEM programs. Moreover, many are interested in the idea of the dendrometer kit. The kit would include all components, instructions and access to software needed to build their own dendrometers. If you are interested in obtaining the dendrometer kit or have any questions, please send us an email!

Word has it, the trees are done growing for the year. This seems very obvious if you head over to the Black Rock Forest Virtual Forest Initiative Tree Growth page and look at the site averages, particularly site 1. At this point, trees are storing sugar for use next spring!

On The Technical Side

Much is happening in development. Two big steps were made. First of all, we have reduced the power consumption of our main design from 27 mAh to 10.6! This means that our standard 4,000 mAh battery needs to be replaced after 15 days instead of 6. Also, we are checking out the use of a 12,000 mAh battery that will fit in the case. With this setup, we could expect about 47 days!
If you are wondering what happened to the D-Cell batteries, we still are experimenting with them, but it seems the voltage profile is not nearly as consistent as the existing batteries.

The second step was equipping our router with solar. So far so good. This setup has proven to run continuously, though only time will tell. The back story is that in order to stretch out the reporting units spatially, you have to support the radio signal strength with special units (routers) that bridge the gaps. While we can send our reporting units to sleep to conserve power, we can’t do that with the routers. Therefore, solar!