BCIT students collaborate with YVR Innovation Hub to develop IoT water monitoring station

BCIT students joined forces with the YVR Innovation Hub to help build a water monitoring system to collect and analyse water quality in the channels around the YVR airfield.

In partnership with YVR Innovation Hub, Jonathan Bassan, Director, BCIT Centre for Internet of Things (IoT), led more than 40 students from BCIT School of Energy and School of Computing and Academic Studies (through Industry Sponsored Student Project) to collaborate with MAKE+ Applied Research in designing an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) water monitoring station.

Utilizing expertise from multiple disciplines, the project team designed and implemented:

  • A smart device using C programming to connect a wide range of sensors to an Arduino
  • Communication and power design addressing NB-IoT cellular communication and power consumption by the device, ensuring data is sent to the cloud
  • AWS cloud architecture to store the incoming data (mentored by external experts from Rackspace and Onica)
  • Web-based dashboard enabling the operator to monitor and track changes in real-time
  • Mechanical and electric design and fabrication of a working prototype

“The work we’re doing with the students and faculty at BCIT is a great example of the power of learning together to advance digital transformation in our community. We look forward to our continued partnership as we test and trial new processes, making YVR an access point for learning and leading innovation in aviation and beyond.” Linda Schucroft, Director Innovation, Vancouver Airport Authority

l r Garrett Kryt Research Analyst MAKE+ and Spencer Loren ISSP Student

“We pulled the project together by using our expertise in mechanical design to create a unique system for mounting sensors at the water’s level. The system was designed to be shock-resistant to withstand moisture, corrosion, and extreme temperatures,” said Garrett Kryt, MAKE + Research Analyst. “We also worked closely with students throughout the system integration process to ensure student success.”

“This project taught me how to communicate with multiple sub-teams, each with its own specialty and design priorities. The teams had very little understanding of what the other teams were doing, so it was vitally important to make sure we were all moving towards the same goal,” explained Spencer Loren, School of Computing and Academic Studies student “Clean lines of communication were essential, and the importance of documentation was crucial as this project took place over multiple terms.”

The water monitoring station was installed in Guichon Creek in early summer and has undergone several months of testing. Installation at YVR is scheduled for the new year.

These innovative stations will enable higher accuracy of measurements and enhanced sampling rates that will reduce labour costs while improving the quality of the data. The data collected is stored in the cloud and combined with weather and tide data, will provide a complete set of data for monitoring and analytics. Monitoring the watershed off Sea island will enable YVR to improve the modeling of the airfield and provide diagnostics and predictive insight as part of the airport’s need to address climate change and rising sea levels.

ABOUT BCIT Centre for Internet of Things (IoT)

As part of this important Digital Transformation, BCIT has introduced the Centre for Internet of Things. The Centre for Internet of Things will keep BCIT at the forefront of this emerging technology and digital transformation with advanced hands-on education and training, industry collaboration, and research.

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