WIT Press

A Versatile Software-hardware System For Environmental Data Acquisition And Transmission


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

283 - 294




1,217 kb


G. Zappalà


In recent years increasing importance has been given to knowledge of the marine environment, either to help detect and understand global climate change phenomena, or to protect and preserve those coastal areas where multiple interests converge (linked to tourism, recreational or productive activities) and that suffer greater impact from anthropogenic activities; this has in turn stimulated the start of research programs devoted to the monitoring and surveillance of these particular zones, coupling the needs for knowledge, sustainable development and the exploitation of natural resources. Modern instruments rely on an electronic heart; an integrated hardware-software system developed in Messina is presented here, which is used in various versions to control data acquisition and transmission on buoys or on ship-based instrumentation. The system was originally conceived to implement a PC-like architecture; basically, it comprises a Pentium family CPU, a variable number of RS-232 ports to connect measuring instruments and communication devices, an analog to digital converter, power outputs to drive the actuators and switch on and off the measuring systems, a satellite and/or cellular phone modem and GPS; the mass storage is supplied by Disk on Chip (DOC) devices. The software enables one to fully control the system and the connected instruments both in local and remote mode using a special set of macro commands. A \“sequence manager” can be activated to run pre-programmed macro-command sequences. The macro-commands enable one to manage the data acquisition and transmission, the mission programming, the system hardware and the measuring instruments. The whole system can be connected to another computer (local laptop or remote desktop) using terminal software; however, to fully and easily use its capabilities, a remote control program has been written. Thanks to the hardware-software architecture, it is easy to upgrade the system to more powerful processors without the need to completely rewrite the software. Keywords: environmental monitoring, data acquisition and transmission.


environmental monitoring, data acquisition and transmission.