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A project log for Affordable Water Level Measuring Station

An Affordable cloud connected water level measuring station for developing countries.

MaartenMaarten 05/23/2017 at 13:230 Comments


It has been a little while since we informed you. We have been busy with several things.

We just transferred the arduino code for the Ultrasonic sensor to An electron 3g is used to send the data to this platform. We faced some problems while doing this, because slightly different libraries are used in de particle firmware. Currently, we are trying to make the data a so called "variable" to request the information as a replacement of the serial monitor used in the arduino software. We still face some problems doing this, but we expect to find the solution soon.

Besides this transferring to the cloud, Jelle did research on working principles of the sensors. To really understand what our device does, we had to get our head around how all components of the system work. The working principles of the following sensors were examined:

  1. Ultrasonic sensor
  2. Sharp Infrared sensor
  3. Laser distance sensor
  4. Radar
  5. Pressure sensor
  6. Float-operated shaft encoder

Considering the pros and cons of the methods described above, the most suitable method for measuring a water level is the ultrasonic sensor (JSN-SR04T). The sensor is cheap and waterproof, which is a requirement in the moist working environment. Also, the measurements are accurate and have a negligible deviation. The only physical quantities that might affect the reliability of the sensor are the temperature and the humidity. Using a temperature-humidity sensor, the effect of these quantities on the speed of sound can be taken into account. At just one dollar, the temperature and humidity sensor doesn’t have a big impact on the budget. Furthermore, there are no moving parts used in this sensor and since moving parts require more regular maintenance, this is an extra reason to use the ultrasonic sensor.

Meanwhile, Maarten did research on the ethical perspective of the project. Will our project actually contribute in making a step forward in the development of a country like for instance Myanmar? For safety-reasons, one could immediately say that this will be a step forward. But other factors also influence the development. This is what our ethical research is about. We are working on an essay, which we will post when it is finished.