Installing the first system

Last week I went to Brazil. It was a bit hectic so I am only just now writing everything down. I had been to Brazil a few times but that was in Rio de Janeiro. This was my first time in the south of Brazil. The climate is more moderate than in Rio but still compared to the UK, it is quite pleasant. This was also the first time meeting the other professors and research assistants. Travel to Camboriú was a bit tricky: my flight got cancelled and I got rebooked on another airline. However, the domestic flight was more problematic: because of the Amazon fires that were (and still are) raging in the Amazon, my plane got diverted to a different airport in São Paulo, making me miss my connection. I finally arrived only around midnight in Balneário Camboriú so we could only start on Friday.

We have ordered a Seneye system to install in the ponds at the IFC campus. I first met the research assistants and professor Joaquim and we talked about the system. Because IT had to authorise the use of new equipment we needed to get that sorted out first but that was done pretty fast. During lunch, I met professor Silma, so I had the chance to learn a bit about her area as well. We also soaked the slide for 24 hours so on Saturday morning, we could install the slide in the sensor. Alan, one of the research assistants built a floater to house the sensor. while the sensor is submerged, the webserver stays above the surface and the network cable is connected to the internet access point.

Seneye prefers the use of a network cable rather than WIFI to avoid problems with wireless connections so we had to pull a cable from the office to the pond. This took a bit of time but the research assistants were amazing. Unfortunately, after installing the slide we had again some issue with the internet authorisation so we had to wait until Monday to get it fixed. However, once we got that sorted (it was just switching a cable in the router), we got data coming in right away.

The Seneye system measures every half hour and sends the data to the cloud. Temperature, NH3, and light are measured directly, while dissolved oxygen and NH4 are calculated via a proprietary algorithm. So far, we like how it is running, we are getting alerts via mobile and email when the parameters exceed upper- and lower limits and we can set those limits ourselves.

At the end of my visit, I gave a short presentation about our field visits to the UK. Unfortunately because of time constraints, I was unable to visit the farms where we will deploy the systems later in the project but I hope to go there next month.

Next steps

The Brazilian researchers will now work on an automation switch for the aeration machine so if the Seneye sends out an alert, it triggers the aeration machine. Seneye offers an API so it is easy to work with and develop derived applications. We also hope to order more kits so when the workshop takes place at the end of September, we can also install them at the private farms and start a bigger rollout test.

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