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OPEnS Hub - A Real-Time Decentralized Internet Portal, Connecting Field Sensors to Google Sheets
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  • Thomas DeBell,
  • Luke Goertzen,
  • Chet Udell,
  • John Selker
Thomas DeBell
Oregon State University, OPEnS lab, First Author

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Luke Goertzen
Oregon State University
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Chet Udell
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John Selker
Oregon State University, OPEnS Lab
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Advancements in sensing technology have sparked a new age of data acquisition and transmission that continue to change the way we understand the world around us. In earth science, we often must move and store tremendous amounts of data from remote locations. Present options are limited to costly propriety devices, which are rigid in structure and have numerous expenses associated with their use. The solution developed in the Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab (OPEnS) at Oregon State University, was to employ a new methodology using low-power, open-source hardware, and software, to achieve near-real-time data logging from the field to the web. This new approach simultaneously lowers the cost of experimentation and data collection and breaks down traditional technical barriers. Data can be collected remotely from nearly anywhere on Earth using a decentralized OPEnS Hub which can utilize a host of low bandwidth transmission protocols and modes of communication, such as: 900 MHz Long Range Radio (LoRa) with a transmission distance of up to 25 km, the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) using well established cell network infrastructure, Wi-Fi for high bandwidth applications, and Ethernet where LAN connections are available. It is notable that LoRa technology is still developing and has been expanded to transmit to an ever-growing constellation of satellites, making this technology truly global in its applicability. The OPEnS-Hub is capable of mesh networking with other nodes and will parse and back up the data to an onboard microSD card. By first exploiting a free open-sourced Application Programming Interface (API), PushingBox, acting as a data broker, and secondly, a customized Google App script, the OPEnS-Hub was able to achieve a dynamic, low latency portal connecting to google sheets. These methods working in tandem allowed for near real-time data logging of over a dozen devices each with unique sensor suites to form valuable time series data. This poster details our methods and evaluates the application and development of PushingBox’s API, Google App Script, Adafruit’s open-hardware Feather development boards, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and various modes of data communication used to collect nearly half a million data points dispersed across remotes sites in the state of Oregon to date.