Telemetry Breakthroughs Help Aberystwyth University Study

Latest GPRS telemetry units and RS Hydros Flowview online data portal provide a total solution for Aberystwyth Universities environmental study of Tregaron Peat Bog.

Aberystwyth University have undertaken a baseline environmental study of Tregaron Peat Bog to assess the impact of reopened paleo channels on the ecosystem. The remote and inaccessible location of the peat bog would make long term spot sampling inefficient and costly, so a different approach was needed. It was decided that temperature, level, turbidity and pH would be measured at two sites, one downstream and one upstream of the proposed impact area. RS Hydro were approached to provide all equipment and systems for the project, including parameter measurement, data logging and data transmission. For parameter measurement the industry leading Manta2 multi-parameter sonde was chosen. It’s unrivalled accuracy, robust construction and low power consumption made it ideal for the application.

A reliable and efficient telemetry solution would be essential to the success of this project, as real-time data from the units would be needed to be able to react to any impacts immediately. The remote location of the bog made this task more complex. GPRS coverage was also weak and standard antennas were unable to deliver the reliability required. A previous telemetry installation on the site had failed as it drew too much power and the 2W solar panel was not able to match the demands of the inhospitable environment.

The proposed solution for this application combined an A753 telemetry unit, a directional GPRS antenna and RS Hydro’s Flowview online data portal. The advanced solar panel and extremely low power consumption of the A753 made it the ideal choice for the peat bogs remote environment. This proved to be a reliable combination, with continuous data over the last 4 months with no breaks or significant power drains.

The A753 is an all new telemetry unit that replaces the A733. The impressive feature list includes a quad-band Motorola GPRS modem, built in data logger and multiple inputs (up to 40 SDI-12 values as well as various analogue and pulse inputs), all housed in a small and robust sealed unit. It also has very high resolution, WMO compliance a large internal memory and synchronous and asynchronous monitoring. The onboard batteries (which will last up to 2 months without power) are charged by advanced solar panels. Data is transmitted from the unit via the GPRS antenna to an A850 telemetry gateway at the RS Hydro offices in Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove. The team at Aberystwyth University can login securely to the Flowview data portal using a web browser.

Flowview is a significant breakthrough in remote data management, and takes data processing, distribution and visualisation to a new level. With the renowned Oracle 10g database at its core and programmed in Java, the modular structure of the program is fully scalable from a single user with a few RTUs to a super server with thousands of clients and networks consisting of thousands of RTUs. As Flowview is a web based solution it removes the need to have software installed and updated on clients computers and the associated support problems.

Flowview provides flexibility in how you can view your data, with options to individualise the trend panels being virtually unlimited. If the scientists carrying out this study need to compare the turbidity data from the downstream and upstream monitoring locations, they can place both in the same trend panel and call it “Turbidity Comparison”. Likewise, for quick assessment of the amount of charge in each of the batteries used in the study, all battery data could be placed in a single trend panel and named “Battery Status”. Both line and bar graphs can be selected from the interface, and colours of panel backgrounds and trend lines are fully customisable. Any desired interval can be set in the trend panels, and hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even annual intervals can be selected from a drop-down menu. The horizontal guidelines feature assists with the early detection of critical conditions and can be marked with specific colours.

For more information about any of the products or services in this article, please contact one of our technicians.
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