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2020 / 2021 Edition

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BGS benefit from remote monitoring capability

The British Geological Survey's Transport Properties Research Laboratory (TPRL) in Nottingham is currently using a Squirrel 1600 data logger from Grant Instruments in a three-year landfill-monitoring application designed to evaluate the effectiveness of clay liners in controlling gas movements and provide other information which will contribute to the enhancement of landfill design.

'We were attracted by the breadth of potential applications to which the 1600 is suited,' said Jon Harrington, senior scientific officer with BGS and manager of the TPRL. 'It was important to us that the logger could serve multiple roles and be used beyond our immediate requirements. Its robust design, flexibility and ease of configuration make it suitable for both field and laboratory use.'

The Squirrel 1600 is being used in conjunction with an Envirotest Module, a self-contained, vandal-proof unit designed in house at BGS, which contains instrumentation, test equipment and gel-battery power supplies. The unit is being used at a landfill site in Kettering, Northamptonshire, to record environmental parameters including temperatures and the pressure of gas and water in the liner, with a view to establishing the conditions under which the gas will move.

These parameters are sampled around the clock at rates from one minute to 2h, depending on the resolution required. Data are downloaded from the 1600 into an Excel spreadsheet and subsequently fed into numerical modelling software developed in house.

According to Mr Harrington, there are a number of advantages to real-time remote interaction with the data logger. 'We enjoy immediate access to field data and an early opportunity to diagnose any problems which may occur. With the monitoring of experiments remotely, we're experiencing a substantial reduction in time spent travelling to and from the site.'

A relatively recent addition to the Grant Squirrel data-logger range, the 1600 can accept 24 single-ended or 16 differential inputs, and also provides eight relay and FET outputs for generating control and alarm signals. With high-capacity non-volatile flash memory and PCMCIA capability, the 1600 is capable of storing a high volume of information subject to sophisticated triggering facilities.

Set-up of these functions is straightforward using Windows-based Setwise software supplied with the data logger. Information can be downloaded to a PC, either locally or via a modem, for analysis and reporting, with facilities for serial or parallel combination of multiple data files, data manipulation and multi-colour graphing. 


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