Thesis subject

Developing an Aerial-Ground Environmental Sensor Network

Observing how forests behave is essential to understand complex ecological and economically related processes. Environmental sensor networks can replace time consuming data collection and work autonomously 24/7. When connected to the internet, they allow real-time observations of the environment.

Open-source software and hardware allow to build sophisticated monitoring systems. LoRa technology combined with Raspberry PI is a cost-effective solution that enable long-range nodes communication. The nodes can be customized with different sensors (e.g., vision, temperature, humidity). Moreover, they could be a static node on the ground, or a mobile node shipped on a drone.


The aim of this project is to setup an aerial-ground network that can be operated off-grid and in remote areas. This will be achieved within the main steps:

1) Review of the state-of-the art in this topic

2) Design different network architectures for different user scenarios

3) Field tests with the LoRa modules/nodes

4) Writing report.


      • Prauzek, M., Konecny, J., Borova, M., Janosova, K., Hlavica, J., Musilek, P., 2018. Energy harvesting sources, storage devices and system topologies for environmental wireless sensor networks: A review. Sensors (Switzerland) 18.
      • Barnard, H.R., Findley, M.C., Csavina, J., 2014. PARduino: A simple and inexpensive device for logging photosynthetically active radiation. Tree Physiol. 34, 640–645.
      • Kirby, J., Chapman, L., Chapman, V., 2018. Assessing the Raspberry Pi as a low-cost alternative for acquisition of near infrared hemispherical digital imagery. Agric. For. Meteorol. 259, 232–239.

        Requirements (optional)

        • Electronics & Gadgets enthusiast
        • Willingness to learn new tools
        • Keen to work in beautiful forests

          Theme(s): Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Field robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine vision, Deep learning

          Contact person(s)

          dr. J.R. (Joao) Pereira Valente (

          Benjamin Brede - GRS (