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The following objectives were presented to the Emergency Water Station Group to create a station to aid South Texas Human Rights Center volunteers in providing water for dehydrated refugees:
- The system must sustain power to controllers, an LED, and a phone charger continuously
- The system should monitor GPS coordinates and the number of water jugs present in the station and upload this data to a website automatically
- The system should include a base to house the electronics and medical supplies, and also support a 27.5-ft flagpole while keeping all compartments watertight through common weather conditions
This report outlines the logistics of the created system as well as the tests conducted to evaluate its effectiveness.
The waterproofing tests concluded that seals on the electrical drawer, USB cover, and load cells successfully impeded water from entering any electrical compartments. The flagpole tests also proved successful because there was no plastic deformation, no base tipping, and no base roof shearing. Phone charger tests proved that the charger could successfully power three different phone brands. Weight sensor tests showed low drifting with temperature variations from 15 to 45 degrees Celsius and extended amounts of time. Similarly, the power system tests verified that the entire system was self sustaining for three days. Current tests showed little variation; however, there was significant noise present in the battery voltage readings. The communication system successfully transmitted the barrel weight and location of the station to the website over a full system test of three days.
It is recommended to improve the voltage reader to ensure more reliability and accuracy. There was drifting in the time readings for the Real Time Clock (RTC), which could be prevented using the Adafruit DS3231 RTC. It is also recommended that the satellite data sensing be optimized using an algorithm. Ideally, with further testing and research the entire system could operate without the need for a master Raspberry Pi, as it currently works as a middle-man for the communications system to collect data from all stations.
Dahlinger, Daniel; Farrell, Sean; Granizo, Bryan; Johnson, Trevor; Kusima, Kenneth L.; Kutach, Caroline; Richter, Nathan; Righes, Gabriel; Rodriguez, Jessica; and Williams, Emma, "Emergency Water Station Final Design Report" (2019). Engineering Senior Design Reports. 32.