ABSTRACT

The proliferation of commercial Internet of Things (IoT) devices is raising consumers’ awareness of the benefits of enhancing everyday objects with the ability to communicate, sense, and process information. Commercial‐off‐the‐shelf (COTS) versions of the embedded technologies responsible for the rise of the IoT are easy‐to‐use, inexpensive, and relatively powerful. IoT Makers, technological do‐it‐yourself enthusiasts, utilize these technologies and the IoT ecosystem to create IoT devices that range from casual hobbyist to entrepreneurial in nature.

In an effort to develop a “no‐engineer‐needed” Internet of Geophysical Things (IoGT) device, we integrated a COTS embedded computer with a geoscience‐related COTS data acquisition system (DAS). Using skills common to geoscientists, we integrated the Raspberry Pi System‐On‐Chip with the REF TEK (a Trimble brand) 130‐01 DAS. This Raspberry Pi enhanced REF TEK (RaPiER) provides IoGT Makers a platform for the development of geoscientific sensor node or network enhancements. IoGT Makers can use the RaPiER to tinker with IoT capabilities while simultaneously acquiring research‐quality data. Geoscientific (i.e., seismic) application areas that may benefit from RaPiER, particularly RaPiER nodal processing, include earthquake and engineering seismology.

In this article, we discuss the emerging technologies that allow IoGT Makers to build their own IoGT device. We review our selection of the Raspberry Pi and REF TEK 130‐01 for IoGT device integration. We provide a RaPiER system integration guide and REF TEK interface software compiled for the Raspberry Pi (graphic available in the electronic supplement to this article). We present methods to expand RaPiER capabilities using the Raspberry Pi’s ecosystem. Last, we discuss our evaluation of RaPiER’s performance and its suitability for realistic field deployments.

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