The Protecting the Peatlands Project won the second place in the battery-operated category of our “Combat Climate Change Challenge” contest. Peatlands are a special type of wetlands which are particularly valuable for preserving global biodiversity, sequestering carbon, and filtering water. Unfortunately, a good percentage of the earth’s peatlands have already been eliminated or significantly damaged, and so protecting those that remain is important for the planet in general and for combating climate change in particular.
Enter “Peat Guard”
This creative project called “Peat Guard” by Mithun Das is a solar powered device which helps protect peatlands by monitoring soil moisture, air temperature, and CO2 gas levels. The device uses machine learning models to determine whether a peatland is drying out or burning by comparing data collected during those conditions against the same type of data collected during normal (wet) conditions.
How it Works…
Specifically, Peat Guard uses a solar-recharged Li-Ion battery to run a tinyML model on QuickLogic’s QuickFeather board outfitted with a soil moisture sensor, analog temperature sensor, and CO2 gas sensor. The machine learning model was generated using the SensiML Analytics Toolkit and implemented on QuickLogic’s QuickFeather open-source development board featuring the EOS S3-based kit with an embedded Arm® Cortex®-M4F MCU.
Intelligent and Low Power
To conserve power, the Peat Guard device wakes up for ten seconds every two minutes. It then collects the necessary data, analyzes it, and reports the results to the Helium open- source network via LoRa (Long Range) wireless transmission technology implemented on a Heltec Wireless Stick Lite module. That is a very smart approach which significantly reduces the power and cost of transmitting the results over long distances.
We thought that this whole project was cleverly designed and has the potential to significantly help combat climate change. It includes a great combination of commercial and open-source software and hardware and uses AI technology effectively to create an intelligent but low power consuming platform. Overall a great use of technology to help protect Peatlands, which in turn can help protect the planet.
A much more detailed description of the project is available on the hackster.io website
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