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Development of a Smart Spore Trap

Publication Type  Conference Paper
Year of Publication  2011
Authors  Zeller, L.; Kamel, P.
Conference Name  Science Exchange 2011
Conference Start Date  09/02/2011
Conference Location  Barossa Valley

This project has evolved from a scoping study to determine the potential of a mobile geo-referenced spore trapping system into a hardware development project. CRCNPB project 30032 developed the technology for a sampling system that has the ability to spatially monitor fungal spores. This project extends on this development to incorporate different modes of operational functionality. This tool will greatly enhance the ability to detect new incursions of fungal pathogens and to enable more accurate knowledge of source and distribution. The technology will allow for earlier detection of emergency plant pest incursions in difficult areas and provide efficient and effective airborne surveillance.

The aim of this project is to modify an existing commercially available spore trap to include the developments of the mobile ground based spore trap to provide accurate information about the spore capture times and prevailing climatic conditions. Commercially available technology captures spores on a surface with the position of the spores on the surface being referenced by time.

The proposed spore trap differs from this concept by allowing the ability to program the spore trap to reference the position of the spores on the surface to other parameters. For example, time of day, temperature, humidity, wind direction or location as for a mobile application. Therefore the population density of spores on the surface will produce a histogram which relates the programmed parameter with spore release. Also the smart spore trap will incorporate a data logging capability providing a multi-dimensional array of averages of all measured parameters for each programmable time interval during spore collection. This will improve the efficiency and accuracy for collecting data for researching the environmental conditions required for spore release.

Development of the smart spore trap involves modifying an existing spore trap to incorporate GPS, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, electronic compass and microcontroller PCB.

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