M.A.R.I.N. and A.P.I.

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In two artistic projects dealing with environmental data, M.A.R.I.N. and Arctic Perspective Initiative (API), the Sense/Stage MiniBees were used to gather environmental data, such as temperature, humidity, light and air quality, as well as 3-axis acceleration.

The DataNetwork was used to access the data for real-time use, and to gather and log all the data to file for artists to use at a later time for visualisation and sonification.

From an expedition to Nunavut in Northern Canada in Summer 2009 as part of the Arctic Perspective Initiative project we learned that the range of the XBee and XBeePros is very much dependent on the environmental conditions. In the outside conditions there, the achieved range of transmission was only a few hundred meters, only about a fifth of the range specified on the datasheet of the XBeePro. At ranges larger than about 50 m. they are extremely affected by blockage, e.g. from the body. In indoor situations, the radio waves will be reflected by objects and walls and such blockage may be mitigated.

Additionally, the batteries lost charge faster in colder conditions (about 6 degrees Celsius) resulting in shorter battery life.

Another issue was that it was difficult to power the host computer, receiving the data from the MiniBees, using solar power, because of foggy and cloudy days. For this reason a kind of datalogger approach for the MiniBees, which stores data locally and sends it to a host when the host is online, could be useful for this kind of application.

More information

Our contacts to these projects are Matt Biederman, Marko Peljhan, and Tapio Makela.

M.A.R.I.N. (Media Art Research Interdisciplenary Network) is a networked residency and research initiative, integrating artistic and scientific research on ecology of the marine and cultural ecosystems.


CDPDU in Tokyo

COMMON DATA PROCESSING AND DISPLAY UNIT – M.A.R.I.N. ALPHA. The Common Data Processing and Display Unit (CDPDU) is a data display and processing architecture built to open hardware and software standards. The M.A.R.I.N. sensor systems were designed by the Montreal based team Marije Baalman, Chris Salter and Matthew Biederman.

The Arctic Perspective Initiative (API) is a non-profit, international group of individuals and organizations whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region.