The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) plans to deploy a sensor network in forested areas of Fraser Island in the next few weeks.

Speaking at the Cisco Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai, USC’s deputy vice-chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said the sensors will be used to measure "measure sap flow in trees, soil moisture, temperature, humidity" and other variables in sub-tropical forest environments.

Lohmann said the sensors would reduce the need for researchers to embark on the six-hour plus trip to Fraser Island from the university's mainland campus to obtain the data.

She added that the data collected by the sensors will be uploaded onto a public website, allowing other research groups to use it in real-time.

Facility use cases

Outside of research applications, USC also sees value in IoT for facilities management applications.

“Safety and security on campus for students is a big area for us, and our campus is spread over 100 hectares, so there is a lot of space to cover,” she said.

“We’ve implemented a significant CCTV camera network and building management system so we can monitor what is happening around the campus.

“Our next step in terms of IoT is upgrading our lighting network on the campus.”

Lohmann said that plans were in place to implement connected LED lighting around the campus, again to improve safety and security.

She is also hopeful to incorporate a smart parking system, similar to those in Dubai.

Dubai’s smart parking system enumerates each parking space, allows individual parking spots to be allocated to patrons, and can detect if a non-allocated space has been used, alerting parking officers to issue a fine if necessary.

Lohmann said that such a smart parking system would make their recent introduction of paid parking at the campus “more palatable and a better value proposition.” 

Peter Gutierrez travelled to Cisco IoT World Forum in Dubai as a guest of Cisco.