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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-27
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-27
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Oct 2019

07 Oct 2019

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GI.

Low power GPS drifters with local storage and GSM modem made from off the shelf components

Rolf Hut1, Thanda Thatoe Nwe Win2, and Thom Bogaard2 Rolf Hut et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Chair of Water Resources Engineering
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Chair of Hydrology

Abstract. Drifters that track their position are important tools in studying the hydrodynamic behaviour of rivers. Drifters that can be tracked in real time have so far been rather expensive. Recently both GPS receivers and GSM modems have become available at lower prices to tinkering scientists due to the rise of the Open Hardware revolution and the associated Arduino ecosystem. This article serves two goals. Firstly, we provide detailed instructions on how to build a Low Power GPS drifter with local storage and GSM model that we tested in a fieldwork on the confluence of the Chindwin and Ayeyarwady rivers in Myanmar. These instructions allow fellow geoscientists to recreate the device. Secondly, we set the question: "Has the Open Hardware revolution progressed to the point that a low power GPS drifter that wireless transmits its position can be made from Open Hardware component by geoscientists without extensive training or expertise in electrical and software engineering? We feel this question is relevant and timely as more low-cost Open Hardware devices are promoted but in practice applicability often is restricted to the 'tinkering engineer'. We argue that because of the plug and play nature of the components geoscientist should be able to construct these type of devices. However, to get such devices to operate at low power levels that fieldwork often requires detailed (mircro)electrical expertise.

Rolf Hut et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Rolf Hut et al.

Model code and software

Low-power-GPS-Trackers-with-GSM-modems.-firmware-and-online-backend v1.0 R. Hut https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1485899

Rolf Hut et al.

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Short summary
GPS Drifters that float down rivers are important tools in studying rivers, but can be expensive. Recently both GPS receivers and GSM modems have become available at lower prices to tinkering scientists due to the rise of the Open Hardware revolution and the Arduino. We provide detailed instructions on how to build a Low Power GPS drifter with local storage and GSM model that we tested in a fieldwork in Myanmar. These instructions allow fellow geoscientists to recreate the device.
GPS Drifters that float down rivers are important tools in studying rivers, but can be...
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