June 29, 2004

The SDSU Intra-SMER Network Extends its Reach to the Pacific Coast


The San Diego State University's Field Station Programs successfully established a point-to-point high speed 2.4GHz wireless network between the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER) and the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, 17.5 miles down the Santa Margarita river valley. Mark VanScoy (SDSU-FSP) was responsible for installing the radio equipment and alignment of the antenna at SMER. Larry Riddle, with UCSD's Climate Research Division at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, worked with Pablo J. Bryant (SDSU-FSP) on the line power re-routing and the radio installation at the Elevated Water Tank at Camp Pendleton. HPWREN provides the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve network with its wide-area Internet connectivity via the main SMER North Station communications node.

tower looking down

The link was created to support the expansion of the on-going Santa Margarita watershed meteorology and hydrology research being conducted by UCSD researchers John Helly and Dan Cayan. This activity is an extension of their current "Investigation of Water Balance in the Santa Margarita Watershed" project at SMER. This extension involves installing additional telecommunication sites (TCS), and weather and water monitoring stations on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base for the purpose of gathering data on meteorological and hydrological conditions in the Santa Margarita watershed.


Newly installed TCS site on a Camp Pendleton water tower.

Weather and water monitoring stations on Camp Pendleton will transmit data via the new Camp Pendleton communications site to the westernmost TCS station at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve. Transmitted data will include temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation, barometric pressure, and standard hydrological measurements.

Currently one telecommunication site, two meteorological stations, and two hydrological stations are proposed for Camp Pendleton as part of this project.

Within SMER, Dan Cayan has already implemented a HydroMet sensor network, which is comprised of nearly thirty weather stations collecting and reporting their telemetry information to data servers in real time via the Intra-SMER and HPWREN networks.

John Helly has been conducting research on the Santa Margarita River using imaging and in-situ sensors to understand river flow characteristics. Helly is also interested in large scale water system modeling throughout Southern California.


View from the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve TCS location towards the Camp Pendleton site

When the SDSU-FSP implemented the Intra-SMER wireless network, the intention was to build a network that would support field research and data collection within the reserve's boundaries. Because network backbone sites were chosen that are at high-altitude perimeter locations of the reserve, they usually also have good line-of-sight to more remote locations outside the reserve, which allowed the team to grow the network and serve applications and projects outside the immediate SMER boundaries.

In addition to the connection to Camp Pendleton, HPWREN and SDSU-FSP had also created an ad-hoc connection from the north end of the reserve into the Temecula Valley to provide network connectivity to the firefighter Incident Command Post of the Eagle Fire that occurred earlier this year. http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/040527.html has more details on the Eagle Fire ICP connection.

Using a NLANR developed "iperf" software, the new Camp Pendleton connection showed a link throughput of 1.17Mbps.

This article will also be posted on the main SDSU Field Station Programs http://fs.sdsu.edu/kf web site.

-- by Pablo Bryant, San Diego State University Field Station Programs

 back to top

 back to HPWREN news

field research
network analysis
 ~ university of california, san diego ~ © 2000 ~