Smart City Sensor Sensation
Students and industry leaders join City to conduct pilot project
There are sensors around you every day - some you already know about, and some you might be surprised to learn about! A sensor can be a part of your smartphone, smartwatch, game controller, camera, new vehicle, thermostat, home alarm and much more. The sensors in these items detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment around it. They collect data on heart rate, location, speed, object identification, temperature, potential toxins and the list goes on.
The City of St. Albert has recently partnered with Zedi and students from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Bachelor of Technology program to launch a sensor pilot project. As a result of their collaboration, a small weather station is now installed on the roof of a City facility. The purpose? To test this type of sensor, plus its wireless network and management platforms.
Highlights of the project include:
- Weather station is remotely connected to a wireless LoRa network - a low-power wide-area network intended to connect wireless devices over distances (up to 3 km).
- Weather station’s sensors collect instant readings on outdoor temperature, humidity, rainfall, barometric pressure, wind speed and wind direction.
- Data is then transmitted wirelessly every few minutes to be stored in a database.
- Database provides information collected in a variety of methods (data, graphs, etc.)
This pilot provides a low-risk, low-cost means to test the application of sensor networks and platforms with a focus on evaluating communications reliability and range, device integration, platform functionality and cost. A second location and different sensor device is also under review, to increase the range of the pilot and the type of information collected.
The pilot aligns directly with St. Albert’s Smart City Master Plan and is scheduled to finish in spring 2017 with a presentation and final report by NAIT students to Zedi and City Administration. The City also has plans to test additional sensor networks, devices and platforms over the course of 2017, as part of a larger review.
Group photo (L-R): Zach Melnyk (NAIT Student), Gabriel Jarillo (Zedi), Jeremy Shantz (Zedi), Gord Coulman (City of St. Albert), Marcin Misiewicz (Zedi), Darrick Werner (City of St. Albert), Steve Deweert (City of St. Albert), Travis Peter (City of St. Albert), Jose Villarreal (NAIT Student)
Missing from group photo: Robert Hawley (NAIT Student), Massimo Torri (Zedi)
Last edited: March 16, 2017