Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


Davis, Tyler (2013) ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING THROUGH WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

PDF (Dissertation (updated))
Primary Text

Download (7MB) | Preview


Wireless sensor networks (WSN) deployed for the purpose of environmental monitoring are becoming increasingly popular. This research examines the use of WSNs for the application of studying the hydrologic cycle with respect to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. The goal was to pair WSN technology with inexpensive hydrological sensors for the purpose of affordable and reliable environmental monitoring. This work encompasses the design, construction, and calibration of sap flow sensors; an examination into the power characteristics of the environmental sensors used to study hydrology and the wireless motes used to communicate data in the WSN; the results from deploying a pilot WSN test bed; the deployment, maintenance, and findings of a main WSN test bed; and the primarily results from the processed environmental sensor data. Lab experiments were used to determine an optimal sampling rate of environmental sensors, which was a compromise between the battery life of the motes and the temporal resolution of the environmental measurements. Based on the sampling rate, it was determined that the thermal dissipation sap flow method was the most practical for WSN applications. For the purposes of large-scale deployments, lab-made sap flow sensors provide a comparable cost-effective alternative to their commercial counterparts. Environmental monitoring of soil moisture, soil water potential, and sap flow was successful and exhibited spatial distributions and temporal changes within the main test bed. Analysis of the WSN communication revealed numerous factors impact network stability. While environmental monitoring through WSNs is feasible, its practicality is dependent on numerous variables.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Davis, Tylertwd2@pitt.eduTWD2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLiang, Xuxuliang@pitt.eduXULIANG
Committee MemberTonsor, Stephentonsor@pitt.eduTONSOR
Committee MemberRizzo, Piervincenzopir3@pitt.eduPIR3
Committee MemberAbad, Jorgejabad@pitt.eduJABAD
Date: 31 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 November 2012
Approval Date: 31 January 2013
Submission Date: 21 November 2012
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 283
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wireless sensor network, environmental monitoring, sap flow
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2013 21:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:07


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item