Wireless, automated monitoring for potential landslide hazards



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Texas A&M University


This thesis describes research efforts toward the development of a wireless sensor node, which can be employed in durable and expandable wireless sensor networks for remote monitoring of soil conditions in areas conducive to slope stability failures. Commercially available soil moisture probes and soil tilt sensors were combined with low-power, wireless data transmitters to form a self-configuring network of soil monitoring sensors. The remote locations of many slope stability hazard sites eliminates the possibility of real-time, remote monitoring instrumentation that relies on AC power or land-based communication methods for operation and data transfer. Therefore, various power supply solutions and data transfer methods were explored during this research and are described herein. Additionally, sensor modification and calibrations are discussed. Preliminary evaluations of field durability of the pilot instrumentation were undertaken during this research. Geotechnical engineering instrumentation must be able to withstand extreme weather related conditions. The wireless, solar-powered soil moisture and tilt sensor node was installed on the Texas A&M University campus, allowing evaluation of system reliability and instrument durability. Lastly, potential future research and conclusions arising from this research are presented. This research has shown that commercially available wireless instrumentation can be modified for use in geotechnical applications. The development of an active power management system allows for sensors to be placed in remote locations and operated indefinitely, thus creating another option for monitoring applications in geotechnical and environmental problems.