New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee is a beautiful, clean water body. It features many islands, peninsulas and beaches that attract visitors to it year round. But keeping it in good shape takes work. Just ask any volunteer with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.
The nonprofit organization is the state’s oldest environmental association and has charged itself with the protection and care of Lake Sunapee. To keep its water quality the best that it can be, workers with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association task themselves throughout the year with taking water samples, finding and removing aquatic invasive plants and animals, and conducting education programs for those living around the lake.
To build on those efforts and take the monitoring work on Lake Sunapee to the next level, organizers launched a data buoy there. The buoy supports data logging and sensing equipment that record water quality and weather parameters important to managing the lake’s health.
Preserving more than the Lake
Within the Protective Association’s buoy platform is a NexSens SDL Submersible Data Logger configured to operate as an SDI-12 slave to another onboard data logger equipped with radio telemetry.
The NexSens SDL communicates with several sensors in the water below, including an Optical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor that uses luminescence to determine changes in the lake’s DO. There is also a YSI 600OMS Optical Monitoring Sonde configured with a chlorophyll probe that measures information related to algae and phytoplankton in Lake Sunapee. Beneath the platform is a string of NexSens T-node Thermistors that track temperature changes in the water column.
On the buoy’s topside, the Lake Sunapee Protective Association maintains a weather sensor to track air temperature, humidity and the wind’s speed and direction. Another sensor measures photosynthetically active radiation, or the sun’s energy hitting the lake’s surface.
After the sensors transmit their readings through the NexSens SDL, which acts as a slave to the buoy’s onboard data logger, measurements are sent to managers with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association through radio signals. The data are then pushed online to the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network’s website where they can be accessed by lake scientists around the world.
The X2-SDL Submersible Data Logger is a rugged, self-powered data logging system with optional cellular, satellite, or radio communications.
The NexSens T-Node FR thermistor string provides high precision temperature measurement in an addressable and connectorized assembly.
The YSI 600OMS V2 measures dissolved oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll, blue-green algae, or rhodamine in a low-cost package.
Seametrics’ DO2 is an optical dissolved oxygen sensor with built-in data logger for unattended DO monitoring applications.