February 12, 2009

Intern Experience -- National Park Service and San Diego State University

by Kelly Lion and Sarina Cassaro

We are interning jointly with the National Park Service and San Diego State University. The goal of our internship is to learn how to install and upkeep key components of a wireless sensor network that are nodes on HPWREN (High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network), specifically at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER) and the NPS Cabrillo National Monument (CABR).

Our work at SMER and CABR is directly impacted by the HPWREN network. Without the network connectivity that it offers, we would not be involved in this project. We are working with Pablo Bryant, Jim Hale, Kim Bruch, and Hans-Werner Braun, who are teaching us all the aspects of the technology associated with HPWREN, sensor networks in general, and distance education activities such as Live Interactive Virtual Explorations (LIVE). Susan Teel and Andrea Compton of the National Park Service are offering us great opportunities to transfer our new knowledge and experiences to other NPS staff.

To date, we have worked on several projects involving equipment within the SMER network. We configured and installed two Ubiquiti NanoStation2 radios at SMER to allow Internet access to a dormatory and laboratory facilities on the reserve.

We have assisted with the replacement of two enclosures at CABR, which house equipment to support network cameras, and for transmission of data via the HPWREN network. Under Jim Hale's guidance, we disassembled and reassembled the systems into those new enclosures.

Additionally we helped Jim test an NPS underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for use in a LIVE presentation that will take place at the George Wright Society Conference in Portland Oregon in March. We tested the ROV at CABR, just off the tidepool area.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)