The INFRA-EAR: A low-cost mobile multidisciplinary measurement platform for monitoring geophysical parameters

Olivier F.C. Den Ouden*, Jelle D. Assink, Cornelis D. Oudshoorn, Dominique Filippi, Laslo G. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Geophysical studies and real-time monitoring of natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions or severe weather events, benefit from the joint analysis of multiple geophysical parameters. However, typical geophysical measurement platforms still provide logging solutions for a single parameter, due to different community standards and the higher cost per added sensor. In this work, the Infrasound and Environmental Atmospheric data Recorder (INFRA-EAR) is presented, which has been designed as a low-cost mobile multidisciplinary measurement platform for geophysical monitoring. In particular, the platform monitors infrasound but concurrently measures barometric pressure, accelerations, and wind flow and uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to position the platform. Due to its digital design, the sensor platform can be readily integrated with existing geophysical data infrastructures and be embedded in geophysical data analysis. The small dimensions and low cost per unit allow for unconventional, experimental designs, for example, high-density spatial sampling or deployment on moving measurement platforms. Moreover, such deployments can complement existing high-fidelity geophysical sensor networks. The platform is designed using digital micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) sensors embedded on a printed circuit board (PCB). The MEMS sensors on the PCB are a GPS, a three-component accelerometer, a barometric pressure sensor, an anemometer, and a differential pressure sensor. A programmable microcontroller unit controls the sampling frequency of the sensors and data storage. A waterproof casing is used to protect the mobile platform against the weather. The casing is created with a stereolithography (SLA) Formlabs 3D printer using durable resin. Thanks to low power consumption (9Wh over 25 d), the system can be powered by a battery or solar panel. Besides the description of the platform design, we discuss the calibration and performance of the individual sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3301-3317
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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