Hi, all—wanted to share this project that @Joe helped me out big time with through the Makerspace Empowerment Program: https://github.com/SUPScientist/OpenCTD/tree/master/OpenCTD_Particle_Boron.
Arduino-flavored OpenCTD has been around for a while and I’m co-teaching a class at UC San Diego this quarter where we’re building a few. I started merging OpenCTD code for Arduino with the Particle libraries in Workbench and am very happy with progress so far. My documentation is, as always, severely lacking but I’ll work on it. But I wanted to share this endeavor with the community in case it could be helpful to others (and to hear your thoughts and suggestions!).
Here’s the gist: the most commonly used ocean sensor package is a CTD: a conductivity (for salinity), temperature, and depth sensor. There are a bunch of companies that make CTDs for a range of costs, usually in the ballpark of $5K or sometimes much higher for the better ones. OpenCTD uses off-the-shelf temperature, conductivity, and pressure sensors to replicate the basic functionality of a standard CTD. It also has an SD card datalogger. Each sensor used in OpenCTD uses simple and standard communication protocols which helps students learn I2C, SPI, and UART concepts as well as the scientific underpinnings of the measurements.
This version of OpenCTD with Boron trades out the qDuino controller for a Particle Boron (again, thanks, @Joe!!!). It currently only samples and records data, so the Boron’s strengths aren’t yet shining but my next steps will be to use the cell module to get the real time before a deployment and then to transmit the data back to shore post deployment. It’s safe to assume that most OpenCTDs will be deployed in coastal/nearshore environments, not in open ocean (i.e., far from cell tower) scenarios.
I’m excited to hear what the community thinks about this undertaking. If you’re interested in giving more than just your thoughts, I’d absolutely love to have help with robustifying the code and thinking about how to deal with charging the sensor without opening the housing and some other issues I imagine we’ll encounter. Thanks for reading!