SEMAT – the next generation of inexpensive marine environmental monitoring and measurement systems

Trevathan, Jarrod, Johnstone, Ron, Chiffings, Tony, Atkinson, Ian, Bergmann, Neil, Read, Wayne, Theiss, Susan, Myers, Trina, and Stevens, Tom (2012) SEMAT – the next generation of inexpensive marine environmental monitoring and measurement systems. Sensors, 12 (7). pp. 9711-9748.

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There is an increasing need for environmental measurement systems to further science and thereby lead to improved policies for sustainable management. Marine environments are particularly hostile and extremely difficult for deploying sensitive measurement systems. As a consequence the need for data is greatest in marine environments, particularly in the developing economies/regions. Expense is typically the most significant limiting factor in the number of measurement systems that can be deployed, although technical complexity and the consequent high level of technical skill required for deployment and servicing runs a close second. This paper describes the Smart Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Technologies (SEMAT) project and the present development of the SEMAT technology. SEMAT is a "smart" wireless sensor network that uses a commodity-based approach for selecting technologies most appropriate to the scientifically driven marine research and monitoring domain/field. This approach allows for significantly cheaper environmental observation systems that cover a larger geographical area and can therefore collect more representative data. We describe SEMAT's goals, which include: (1) The ability to adapt and evolve; (2) Underwater wireless communications; (3) Short-range wireless power transmission; (4) Plug and play components; (5) Minimal deployment expertise; (6) Near real-time analysis tools; and (7) Intelligent sensors. This paper illustrates how the capacity of the system has been improved over three iterations towards realising these goals. The result is an inexpensive and flexible system that is ideal for short-term deployments in shallow coastal and other aquatic environments.

Item ID: 22086
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1424-8220
Keywords: commodity hardware/software; power management/harvesting; underwater wireless communications; semantic technologies; data visualisation
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This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (

Funders: National and International Research Alliances Program (NIRAP)
Projects and Grants: SEMAT
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2012 06:04
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080503 Networking and Communications @ 50%
08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0806 Information Systems > 080608 Information Systems Development Methodologies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 100%
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