Applications of a wireless chloride sensor in environmental monitoring

N. Harris, A. Cranny, Mark Rivers, Keith Smettem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 IEEE. There is an established need to measure soil salinity, and wireless sensor networks offer the potential to achieve this, coupled with a suitable sensor. However, suitable sensors, up until very recently, have not been available. In this paper we report on the fabrication and calibration of a new low-cost, robust, screen-printed sensor for detecting chloride ions. We also report on two experiments using this sensor. The first is a laboratory-based experiment that shows how sensors can be used to validate modeling results by installing several sensors in a soil column and tracking the vertical migration of a chloride pulse in real time. The second is a trial of multiple sensors installed in a fluvarium (stream simulator) showing that distributed sensors are able to monitor real time changes in horizontal chloride flux in an emulated natural environment. We report on results from both surface flows as well as from sensors at a depth of a few mm in the fluvarium sediment, and differences and trends between the two are discussed. As an example of how such sensors are useful, we note that for the flow regime and sediment type tested, penetration of surface chloride into the river bed is unexpectedly slow and raises questions regarding the dynamics of pollutants in such systems. We conclude that such sensors, coupled with a distributed network, offer a new paradigm in hydrological monitoring and will enable new applications, such as irrigation using mixtures of potable and brackish water with significant cost and resource saving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAS 2015 - 2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium, Proceedings
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherWiley-IEEE Press
ISBN (Print)9781479961160
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS) - Kolovare, Croatia
Duration: 13 Apr 201515 Apr 2015


Conference2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS)


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