Mapleseed: Sensor Network Laboratory
Long-range wireless networks of small, low-cost, and low-power sensors are needed to study Earth’s climate from both the atmosphere and space. The Mapleseed project aims to develop a passive (i.e., free-falling) wireless in-situ sensor platform inspired by the natural aerodynamic performance of samara seeds for use in detailed sensing of various properties of Earth’s atmosphere.
As part of this faculty research team, students will be exposed to an entire end-to-end design process, including background research, concept generation, simulation, prototyping, and validation by experiment both in the laboratory and the field. New members starting in Winter 2020 will join the current effort to refine the developed technology as well as to demonstrate the wireless, environmental sensing, localization and wind tracking capabilities of a small cluster of free falling mapleseed flyers in field tests in Earth’s lower atmosphere. Students will have the opportunity to build, adapt, and operate advanced drone systems and be involved in field tests. Students develop a number of very small wireless circuit boards (using TI cc1310 radio) along with 3D printed airframes.
Meeting time and location
The full Mapleseed team historically meets weekly on Thursdays at 4pm to 6pm in the GG Brown Building. Each subteam arranges a convenient time to meet and work together.
Each of the three Mapleseed subteams has a team leader that reports to and meets with the faculty PI. The teams are flexibly structured to enhance creativity and opportunity for student growth. We work in a GG Brown lab. We have the following project teams: Electronics, Mechanical, Software/Coding, and some ad hoc functional teams.