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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Oklahoma and Central Plains Agricultural Research Center » Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research Unit » Research » Research Project #440379

Research Project: Develop and Evaluate Rapidly Deployable Inexpensive Sensors to Aid the Monitoring, Inspecting, and Rehabilitation of Aging Dams

Location: Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research Unit

Project Number: 3070-13000-014-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 17, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

This Agreement will provide funding for the cooperator as required to support ARS parent project “Development of Engineering Tools for the Design and Rehabilitation of Safe, Efficient Embankment Protection Alternatives, Hydraulic Structures, and Channels” (3072-13000-010-00D), which will transform into the new project plan titled: “Development of a Monitoring Network, Engineering Tools, and Guidelines for the Design, Analysis, and Rehabilitation of Embankment Dams, Hydraulic Structures, and Channels” (hereinafter "USDA Parent Project"). The purpose of this cooperative research is to develop, evaluate, and deploy quickly configured sub-$100 networked weather, soil moisture, and water depth sensors that communicate and seamlessly work with the ARS Partnerships for Data Innovations (PDI) Geoevents servers on the Azure cloud. The Cooperator will assist ARS with: 1. extending the Virginia Tech (VT) $25 Multi-Science Sensor (VTMSS) for rapid configuration to feed data to the ARS PDI Geoevents servers; 2. extending the capacitance soil moisture sensing capability to act as a water depth gage; 3. developing rapid sensor deployment strategies and simplify data transport configurations to relay information from the VTMSS configurations to the ARS PDI Geoevents servers; 4. developing, evaluating, and deploying automated QA/QC software for deployed VTMSS; 5. development of VTMSS operations, maintenance, and training guidance (e.g., written materials, webinars, workshops, hands-on learning videos); 6. establishing applied research and extension activities by extending this research, in partnership with our Youth Development Extension Agents for 4-H and FFA, we will establish applied research and extension activities by extending this research to develop the sensor design and DPI Digital Architecture data transport and analysis technologies for K-12 students, teachers, and the general public based on this ARS research. This collaborative effort will directly support the monitoring, inspecting, and rehabilitating of aging dams. Professionals and researchers will use this proposal's products to monitor watershed and other hydrology and agricultural-related systems throughout the country.

The Cooperator will partner with ARS to assist with the defined objectives. Specifically, the Cooperator will provide technical support and expertise in extending the Cooperator's multi-science mesh networked sensor suite for rapid configuration and deployment at sites for the USDA Parent Project, feeding data directly from the field-deployed sensor network into the ARS PDI Geoevents servers. They will assist ARS in disseminating information through various formats (e.g., symposiums, webinars, hands-on learning, workshops, videos, field demonstration days, pamphlets, brochures, guidance documents, etc.) and contribute to a communications plan through extension related activities involving the outlined objectives.