PROJECT 2: Low Cost Wireless Remote Sensors for Arctic Monitoring and Lifecycle Assessment

Project PI: Dr. Martin Cenek

Lead Institution: University of Alaska Anchorage, with support project addition provided by industry partner, ASRC Federal Solutions.

Supporting Team: Dr. Aaron Dotson (UAA), and Mr. Eric Velte, Kevin Wainwright (ASRC Federal Mission Solutions Co-PIs), Mark Rowan (ASRC Federal Mission Solutions), Christopher Bartley (ASRC Federal Mission Solutions), and one UAA on-site research assistant.

Project Description:
The project goal is to develop low-cost wireless sensors for use in remote monitoring, asset management, surveillance, and security, particularly in Arctic and marine environments. We categorize a sensor’s functionality into three areas: detection of an input event, computation of the detected event, and communication of the data. We develop an inexpensive, self-organizing network of devices that can reliably compute and communicate detected events. The computing device for each sensor node is the MoteineoR4 RFM69W. An integrated RFM69 transceiver enables wireless ISM band communications. A software simulator and hardware proof-of-concept consisting of a 7x7 array of nodes has been constructed. Our initial target application is to utilize acoustic and electromagnetic signal detectors to classify human vs. animal traffic in a remote area.

The concurrent phase of the project includes the evaluation of the lifecycle cost (LOC) for the deployed sensor array. The LOC framework will be applied to the monitoring of the US-Canada border for intrusions deployment scenario. Assessment will employ common techniques in life cycle assessment with focus on geospatial array structure associated with terrain and climate as well as overall power requirements, proximity to urban areas and the end-of-life considerations.

ASRC Federal Mission Solutions (AFMS) will identify, from the mission perspective, the systems involved in the Command and Control and Situational Awareness missions for multiple DHS projects, including USCG and Customs and Border Patrol. Using its experience as the USCG’s National Security Cutter C2/S2 system developer, AFMS will develop an integration strategy that will incorporate data from these sensors into tactical mission components for use by multiple echelons.

The team will initially use its open system architecture (OSA)- based C4 system for prototype component development and initial sensor integration and fusion. After initial integration of sensor data from both simulated and fielded sensors, the AFMS team will fuse the data into a tactical track picture and situational awareness display in order to prove the usefulness of the low-cost remote sensor approach for C2 and SA. The team will develop a set of decision aids to support events detected by the sensor network, including new contacts, lost contacts, indeterminate contact information requiring human-in-the-loop interpretation, as well as network readiness information.