Yellowstone Sensors Project
Currently developed by:
David Munday
Matthew Minolli

About the project

We are a group of students at UCSC developing a wireless sensor network for Yellowstone National Park.


Our nodes are controled by the TI MSP430-F149 microcontroller.   This microcontroller was chosen becuase of its low power modes, and accompanying development tools. Each node is equipped with an SD card for data storage.   This allows the nodes to continue recording data even during long term network outages. Powering the nodes is a 15Ah 3.6v battery.   This particular battery was specifically chosen for its long power life and its enviormental friendlyness.


Our current software suite consists of a base station application, a Google maps front-end for node management, and a graphing and dataset display for node data.   Feel free to check these applications in our links section.


Demo of our google maps interface
Temperature data graphs
Screenshots of the base station software
Gantt chart


Our system battery was chosen because it contains chemically inert compounds. Experimentation and estimation show that it will be able to power a node for over six months.

We clock the MSP430 at 32kHz to save power. In this photo the node is actually on, but drawing less current than the power supply can report.

We've done a test deploy in the forest around Santa Cruz. We plan to do a test deploy at Yellowstone sometime in Fall 2007.

Each node has a Radiotronix Wi.232FHSS-250 radio which transmits at 250mW at 2400bps.


Presentation at AGU
Dec 14, 2007
The Yellowstone Sensors Project was shown at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco on Dec 14th.  David and Tony attended during afternoon to show off our poster and to demonstrate some of our sensor nodes in action.  More information on the event can be found here.
Sept 18, 2007
We've uploaded our poster (7.2MB).   Check it out!
Presentation at MobiCom
Sept 12, 2007
We were fortunate enough to be accepted to the MobiCom 2007 Student Demo Competition in Montreal, Canada.   David and Tony presented a live demo of the setup and talked to a number of engineers, professors, and other students about the project.   All in all, the trip was a very memorable and sucessful experience.  Special thanks to Prof. Katia Obraczka for funding our trip.
Batteries finally run out
June 7, 2007
The batteries we've been using for our test deploy have finally run out.   We were happy to see that they proformed exactly to spec with over a month's running time.   With duty cycling, we feel that we can get at least six months out of them.
Website updated
June 3, 2007
We've re-designed the website with a more modern look.   Hope everyone likes it!
Zooming on graphs added
May 6, 2007
Tony has finished implementing zooming on the temperature graphs.   This was done by hacking the Bonzi package used in Cacti for our JPgraph created graphs.
Start of 1st test deploy
May 1, 2007
We left out the nodes for a test deploy at David's house in Bonny Doon.   The purpose of the test deploy will be to to see how well nodes hold up in the outdoors and how well the software preforms.   We're also curious to see how long the batteries will last. Hopefully they will last for the month we calculated them for.
Development restarts on Yellowstone project
May 1, 2007
After a break for the Summer and Fall quarters, our team has re-assembled to continue development on the project.   Matt will continue his work on the radio, while David and Tony will work on developing the hardware and software.
Senior Design Constest
June 6, 2006
Yellowstone Sensors Project wins first ever Jack Baskin School of Engineering Senior Design Compentition!