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Researchers in China have launched a project “GreenOrbs”, a WSN system of 1000+ nodes to operate in the forest for over one year. Through the experience in GreenOrbs, the researchers hope to gain insights on the challenges and design space in long-term large-scale WSNs, such as energy consumption, scheduling and synchronization, routing efficiency, link estimation, encapsulation, deployment, diagnosis, and fault tolerance.

The first application of GreenOrbs is canopy closure estimates. Canopy closure is defined as the percentage of ground area vertically shaded by overhead foliage. It is a widely-used indicator of the forest condition and has many significant uses in ecosystem management and disaster forecast. Using WSN as a technique of quantitative measurement, GreenOrbs can realize accurate and economical canopy closure estimates of vast forest.

Another application of GreenOrbs is fire risk evaluation of forest. Using sensor nodes deployed in the forest, GreenOrbs is able to monitor the local environmental factors and act as important input elements of accurate fire rick evaluation.

GreenOrbs is further designed to support forestry research through long-term large-scale observations on the forest microclimate, species interdependence, and competition among different vegetation species.

More info here.

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