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OSDI '06 Abstract

Pp. 381–396 of the Proceedings

Fidelity and Yield in a Volcano Monitoring Sensor Network

Geoff Werner-Allen and Konrad Lorincz, Harvard University; Jeff Johnson, University of New Hampshire; Jonathan Lees, University of North Carolina; Matt Welsh, Harvard University


We present a science-centric evaluation of a 19-day sensor network deployment at Reventador, an active volcano in Ecuador. Each of the 16 sensors continuously sampled seismic and acoustic data at 100 Hz. Nodes used an event-detection algorithm to trigger on interesting volcanic activity and initiate reliable data transfer to the base station. During the deployment, the network recorded 229 earthquakes, eruptions, and other seismoacoustic events.

The science requirements of reliable data collection, accurate event detection, and high timing precision drive sensor networks in new directions for geophysical monitoring. The main contribution of this paper is an evaluation of the sensor network as a scientific instrument, holding it to the standards of existing instrumentation in terms of data fidelity (the quality and accuracy of the recorded signals) and yield (the quantity of the captured data). We describe an approach to time rectification of the acquired signals that can recover accurate timing despite failures of the underlying time synchronization protocol. In addition, we perform a detailed study of the sensor network's data using a direct comparison to a standalone data logger, as well as an investigation of seismic and acoustic wave arrival times across the network.

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