Why Does a Rainforest in Brazil Have a Ton of Sensors Installed?

The Atlantic Rainforest Sensor Network is where the real work lies. Microsoft Research is working with researchers from Johns Hopkins and the University of Sao Paulo to gather minute-by-minute climate data from a small section of the Brazilian rainforest. These rainforests help regulate climate temperatures, create rainfall and provide a habitat for biodiversity.This is both […]

The Atlantic Rainforest Sensor Network is where the real work lies. Microsoft Research is working with researchers from Johns Hopkins and the University of Sao Paulo to gather minute-by-minute climate data from a small section of the Brazilian rainforest. These rainforests help regulate climate temperatures, create rainfall and provide a habitat for biodiversity.

This is both a fine-scale and a massive-scale undertaking:

Fine-scale because "there're 600 sensor nodes deployed throughout the Serra do Mar rainforest that are measuring and storing data on temperature, water vapor and solar radiation, at different elevations, above and below the rainforest canopy, every minute -- and have been doing so since November 2009."

And, Massive-scale because "those individual measurements yield an enormous amount of data about how the climate of this specific area interacts with the global climate - the 600 sensors nodes deliver 18 million observations per month. Understanding the microclimate -- through micrometeorology -- is essential to understanding the macroclimate."

The sensor network is another example of connecting "things" in our physical world to the digital world.

[Via: Next at Microsoft]