This project implemented an environmental sensor network at the Mission of Mary local urban farm. The goal was real time data access to geospatial temperature data to assist with urban farming. The temperature sensors were connected via Ethernet cable to a low-powered, open-source hardware, single-board Raspberry Pi. Data was transmitted via HTTP protocol over a cellular connection to our cloud servers. The network features an iOS app that Mission of Mary workers can download and view real-time temperature data at each point in the greenhouse. A secondary viewing method based on RESTful web services is an online query tool where data can be exported. Statistical analysis of the data will be done using a two-tailed t-test comparing the mean values of redundant sensors. Analysis will also be done using applicable local temperature data from Dayton International Airport and the Miami Conservancy District. To complete the project partnerships have been created with the Hanley Sustainability Institute, UD Geology, Intrust IT (a leading cloud provider in Cincinnati), Kore Telematics (the leading global M2M communication company) and KEEN.
Our project is being carried out in collaboration with the Mission of Mary Cooperative and the Hanley Sustainability Institute at the University of Dayton. The Mission of Mary Cooperative is a non-profit organization that focuses on the issues of food and economic social justice, especially the issues of healthy food affordability and access in the Dayton area. In total, there are 2.5 acres of urban farms under their watch that provide local, fresh, and chemical free food to the surrounding areas. The greenhouse site of our current implementation is on one of the three agriculture plots the Mission of Mary operates within the Twin Towers neighborhood. It is a metal framed structure covered in a plastic film that may be opened to release heat during the summer months. It is approximately 52 feet long and 20 feet wide.
Funding is provided by the Hanley Sustainability Institute, a University of Dayton entity that promotes and extends the university’s sustainability efforts.