TDAI hosts NEON-sponsored environmental sensor tower

August 18, 2021

TDAI hosts NEON-sponsored environmental sensor tower

The sensor tower and trailer at the OSU Airport
OSU faculty and staff at the NEON mobile unit at the OSU airport
Team members at the tower site (from left) Dr. Anish Arora, chair and professor, computer science and engineering; Dr. Huyen Le, assistant professor, geography and Sustainability Institute; Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf, professor and TDAI director); Dr. Gil Bohrer, professor, civil, environmental and geodetic engineering; and Steve Chang, TDAI technology solutions engineer

The Translational Data Analytics Institute has partnered with the Ohio State University Airport and a diverse group of OSU researchers to be awarded a new 30-foot tower of sensors for experimenting with the use of environmental data.

The tower was designed and built by the NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), which is operated by Battelle and includes 81 permanent field sites that collect long-term ecological data across the United States to better understand how ecosystems are changing. Ohio State is the first to host a mobile, temporary field site of this type, and the first urban data-collection site.

Multiple teams at Ohio State will put the tower and the data collected by its sensors to good use, according to TDAI Director Tanya Berger-Wolf, the leader of the project. One TDAI project is studying the use of machine learning to interpret the data as it is collected. It will also serve as a pilot study for two new NSF-funded AI institutes at Ohio State led by TDAI affiliates that focus on edge infrastructure for AI. And faculty and students from Ohio State’s Sustainability InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences, and College of Engineering are collecting and utilizing data for studies, including a team led by Huyen Le, an assistant professor of geography and core faculty of the Ohio State Sustainability Institute, that received a research pilot grant from TDAI.

“This is a unique opportunity for our researchers to help understand environmental conditions in urban areas, such as carbon emissions, noise and air pollution, and how it changes in real time,” said Berger-Wolf.

Watch a video and read more about the sensor tower

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