So in mid January a small team of us descended to Pooles Cavern to set up the latest batch of radio logging devices supplied by TinyTag. This included getting two pieces of equipment into the monitoring network that I have been wanting to install for some time.
The first of these is a Vaisala CO2 sensor coupled to a TinyTag radio logger. To do this we have bought a Voltage radio logger from TinyTag and wired this and the CO2 probe up to a battery. This device is now in the cave (photo) and giving us great readings, although we still need to work out how to convert form V to CO2 in ppm, one thing at a time!
The next thing I'm really pleased to have installed is a soil monitoring station (photo), thanks to Alan for digging the hole! This monitoring is quite simple but should give us a wealth of knowledge about soil conditions, firstly temperature at different depths. The station is quite low tech, being a drainpipe with air holes and temperature probes attached inside the tube at depths of 10, 30 and 60cm (photo). In the future I hope to add a second Vaisala CO2 probe into the tube to look at soil CO2 concentrations.
The station is situated roughly above the Roman Chamber so is perfectly positioned to capture changes in the soil zone directly above the cave. So far we only have a few days worth of data but you can already see how soil temperature differs with depth.
In addition to these stations we have also fitted a new stream temperature logging station at the end of the cave where the stream emerges into the cave. To combat some of the issues we have had with the mesh we have also put a LAN network receiver into the cave, piggybacking on the Splinterface projects internet cable and power in the cave, thanks guys!
Overall, it was a very productive day to everyone involved!