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Deploying sensors

Sensors are attached to trees based on GPS coordinates determined during deployment planning. Afterwards, they can be "forgotten". They do not need any further maintenance. Any software updates to the sensors are then done remotely.

The assigned registered forest worker uses Deployment app to locate in the forest a tree closest to the GPS coordinates set for a sensor. Using a QR Code and GPS coordinates obtained from the Smartphone, the actual position of the sensor is saved to the Silvanet Cloud. Once a sensor is successfully linked to its actual position, it can then be installed on a tree.

The sensor nodes are designed with a loop which can be used with a treenail (or crop wire) to attach the sensor to a tree.

Tip

Ensure you log in to the Deployment app while you have a good wireless connection. This ensures the Packets and device information is saved to the app's local database on the Mobile device.

Warning

Lean the ladder in a safe way against the tree, make sure it does not tip and have the second person holding it at any time. Do not climb up the ladder without a second person holding the ladder.

Deployment guidelines

  • How high should the sensor be deployed?

    We recommend installing the sensor on the tree trunk approximately 3 meters above the level of the forest floor. At this height, the device is most sensitive to fire detection and it obtains an increased amount of light on its solar cell. Furthermore, at this height it avoids disturbances from most human and animal interactions.

  • Which direction should the sensor be deployed?

    Install the sensor facing towards the direction of the sun (where it would be at 12:00 noon). Use a compass to identify true South (in the northern hemisphere) or true North (in the southern hemisphere). This maximizes the amount of light that hits the sensor's solar cell during the day.

  • Why are spacers used?

    A 2cm spacer is provided to deploy the sensor slightly away from the trunk of the tree. This avoids direct contact with the tree and allows tree sap to flow down the tree behind the sensor. The spacer also helps to keep the sensor away from the moisture in the tree. Furthermore, the spacer allows the sensor to hang vertically rather than laying directly against the bark of the tree which could tilt it at an angle. Also, hanging the sensor vertically improves the radio range of the device.

Preparation checklist

  • Work in teams of at least two people.
  • Ensure you have downloaded and installed the Silvanet Deployment app and have access to your account.
  • Prepare a plan to deploy the sensors in the forest. Prepare your walk through the forest beforehand to install the sensors in the most efficient manner.
  • Sufficient sensors, treenails, spacers (and crop wire, if required) for the day's installation plans. Use a waterproof box to hold the sensors, etc.
  • Required tools, including Ladder, shears/snips for cutting branches, and crop wire (if required).
  • Reflective bands/tape or some other method for identifying trees with installed sensors.

Entering the Sensor Id in Deployment app

Before installing the sensor on a tree, you first need to add the Sensor Id in the Deployment app. This links the sensor to the Silvanet Cloud. Data from the sensor can then be transmitted through the Silvanet network to the Silvanet Cloud. The Sensor Id is provided on the back of every sensor. This can be done by scanning the QR Code or entering it manually.

Using the QR Code

To enter the Sensor Id using the QR Code:

  1. Login the the Dryad Deployment app using your account credentials.

  2. Select the Deployment Plan (Packet assigned to you). A Packet showing Pending indicates not deployed.

    Packet assigned to you

    Packet assigned to you
  3. Click the Pending Packet. The Packet overview page appears showing a list of sensors to be deployed.

    List of sensors to be deployed

    List of sensors to be deployed
  4. Click the Map button to view the deployment plan. You can zoom into one of the sensor icons to find the planned location of a sensor. Your current location appears on the map as a blue icon. The following shows two rows of successfully installed sensors (on the left) and two rows of sensors to be installed (on the right). See note below.

    Map view of planned deployment location

    Map view of planned deployment location

    Note

    Grey icons indicate a sensor inactive. In this case, it has not been installed and is not yet synced with the Silvanet Cloud. For more details of icon colors, see Sensor status icons in Verifying deployment status.

  5. Find the planned GPS location (a tree) using the Map view. A 20m overlay appears around your location icon. Select an appropriate tree within this circle on which to install the sensor.

    Install location

    Install location
  6. click Install to open the QR Code scanner to link the actual GPS coordinates with the Sensor Id. The Sensor Id is provided as a QR Code and in text form on the back of the sensor.

    Scan QR Code

    Scan QR Code
  7. Using the QR code scanner, focus on the QR code on the back of the sensor, then click Show me QR code to link the sensor to the actual location.

  8. The Deployment app automatically fills in the sensor's Latitude and Longitude using the Smartphone's GPS location.

  9. You can add additional informationin the Notes field such as observations about the location of the sensor (such as located on a hillside, within shadow of a cliff, and so on).

  10. Click the Camera icon to take a photo of the Sensor Id.

    Installation completed

    Installation completed
  11. Click Save to complete the installation.

  12. The sensor icon changes to a yellow color to indicate it was successfully installed and is sending data to the Silvanet Cloud.

    Successfully installed

    Successfully installed
  13. The Deployment app redirects to the Packet overview.

  14. The sensor can now be attached to the tree.

Manually adding the Sensor Id

If scanning the QR Code cannot be done for any reason, you can manually add the Sensor Id to the Serial Number field.

To manually enter the Sensor Id:

  1. On the Scan QR Code page, click Enter manually.

    Enter manually Sensor Id

    Enter manually Sensor Id
  2. Read the Sensor Id on the back of sensor and enter it manually in the Serial Number field.

    Install page

    Install page

    To easily copy the Sensor Id you can use a scan text app such as Google Lens, as shown in the following example.

    Scan Sensor Id

    Scan Sensor Id

    Copy the Sensor Id, then paste the Id in the Serial Number field.

  3. The Deployment app automatically fills in the sensor's Latitude and Longitude using the Smartphone's GPS location.

  4. You can add in the Notes field important observations about the location of the sensor (such as located on a hillside, within shadow of a cliff, and so on).

  5. Click the Camera icon to take a photo of the Sensor Id.

    Installation completed

    Installation completed
  6. Click Save to complete the installation.

  7. The sensor icon changes to a yellow color to indicate it was successfully installed and is sending data to the Silvanet Cloud.

    Successfully installed

    Successfully installed
  8. The Deployment app redirects to the Packet overview.

  9. The sensor can now be attached to the tree.

Installing using treenails

Treenails are wooden pegs which you hammer through a loop in the Sensor into pre-drilled holes in the tree. They are made of wood rather than metal and are harmless to the tree. And as they expand due to the tree's moisture, they end up securely deploying the sensor to the tree for a very long time. This is the recommended method as each sensor requires only a single treenail to securely deploy it to a tree.

To deploy a sensor to a tree using treenails:

  1. Using a helper, stabilize the ladder against the tree.

  2. Locate the correct height and southerly direction for installing the sensor.

  3. Carefully remove a small portion of the bark with an axe. Try not to excessively damage the tree.

    Mesh Gateway remove bark

    Remove small area of bark at the install location
  4. Carefully drill a hole approximately 6-7cm into the tree using the 10mm drill bit.

    Drill hole

    Carefully drill 10mm hole
  5. Insert a treenail through the sensor's loop, slip a spacer onto the treenail, then carefully hammer the treenail into the hole drilled into the tree.

    Hammer in treenail

    Hammer in treenail
  6. Ensure the sensor is securely deployed to the tree and hanging loosely and vertically.

    Sensor installed

    Sensor installed with treenail and spacer
  7. Mark the tree with the sensor using a reflective band or some other identifying marker.

    tree indicated with maker

    Tree with Sensor indicated by a marker
  8. Continue installing the remainder of the sensors in the Packet using the same procedure.

Installing using crop wire (temporary only)

Sensors can be installed using crop wire for short term installations (for example, PoC deployments or Pilot deployments).

Crop wire is typically used in agricultural settings such as greenhouses. This solution should only be used for a limited time as the wire will eventually interfere with growth in the tree's girth.

To install a sensor using crop wire:

  1. Locate the correct height and southerly direction for installing the sensor.

  2. Using a helper, stabilize the ladder against the tree.

  3. Cut a length of crop wire at least 50% longer than the circumference of the tree.

  4. Inset crop wire through the spacer and sensor as shown below.

    Insert crop wire

    Insert crop wire through sensor and spacer
  5. Tighten the crop wire around the tree. Ensure it is securely attached and that the sensor cannot slip or move.

    Sensor installed with crop wire

    Sensor installed with crop wire
  6. Continue installing the remainder of the sensors in the Packet using the same procedure.

Calibration period

The sensors need to self-calibrate for 14 days. This allows them to determine "normal air" which is critical for detecting a smoldering fire.

See also

More details about calibration can be found in Detecting fires.

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