Sun SPOTs have been my favourite technology siince long now and currently, we are working on a project called CANOPEE!

Website :

Project Aim:

It aims at providing a comprehensive suite for environmentalists that would assist them to monitor the environmental variables and analyse the results through self generated reports.

Sun Small Programmable Object Technology will be used for building the sensor network. The project will use MySQL database server at the back-end, Netbeans IDE as the development platform and iReport plug-in for Netbeans for generating reports.


Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) is built on a strong academic foundation and actively pursues investigations in the natural and social sciences, which form the basis for ongoing projects that are dedicated to outreach and education. The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) , and the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, two important protected areas in India’s Western Ghats, have been long-standing foci of ATREE’s work in forest ecology. They have also undertaken a pioneering canopy research program at KMTR which is opening a new world of ecological understanding.

We have identified that collecting data on these covariates could be very easy, most precise and regular if an efficient Sun SPOT system could be developed. The project specifically aims at developing a sensor solution which will be tested and deployed at KMTR. See
Canopy Research for more details.

Long Term Goals:

1. Building SPOT Sensors

The Sun SPOTs will be used to build sensor nodes that can be deployed on field. The light and Temperature sensors are inbuilt in Sun SPOT. Other sensor IC's like humidity, soil moisture, pressure, CO2 content (If possible) should be interfaced and a compact moisture resistant node package capable of running independently for at-least 3 months should be developed.

The nodes should be able to record the values from all sensors attached after specific interval of time - typically after every 1/2 hour. The recorded values should be stored along with the time of recording and other required parameters. The Record Management Store (RMS) API will be used for the purpose.

The nodes should go into deep sleep mode when sensing is not done. During sensing the values the node should listen for a remote basestation. If Basestation is found in range, Nodes should send the collected data to the Database via basestation.

2. Building a Host Application Suite

The Host Application suite will have a neat GUI with options as given below:

  • Information about each deployed sensor (Its location, date deployed etc)

  • Options to search for sensors within range and collect stored data.

  • Complete analysis and status of sensor when found in range and capacity for OTA manipulation

  • Options to analyze the collected data and generate customized reports   

Short Term Goals:

The short term goals for the project are as follows:

  • Analyse the feasibility and scope of project. Also clarify exact requirements through regular mails with ATREE authorities.

  • Build a small prototype that will use the built-in temperature and light sensors in Sun SPOTs and record values on local test field (Near Nagpur, Maharashtra, India) The recorded values should be transmitted to base station database.

  • Design a Database that would store the data values and all sensor information.

  • Visit the KMTR forest in January (In December heavy rainfall is predicted) and test the temporary prototype on field. Also finalize the complete project requirements and start the implementation phase. Also study existing system and do in-depth cost Analysis.

  • Build a solution for extension of life of Sun SPOT. Currently according to theoretical calculations, Sun SPOT can safely work on field for 2 - 3 months. A external battery solution is currently being thought upon that could extend life by at least 1 - 2 months.

  • Identify sensor IC's that will be best suited for recording other required parameters and design a framework to interface the IC's with Sun SPOT in an efficient manner.

Project Members:

  1. Jay Mahadeokar

    IV Year, CSE.

  2. Vasusen Patil

    IV Year CSE

  3. Abhishek Kumar, IV Year Electronics
I will keep blogging about the progress of the project as it wears on!!

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I am the Sun Campus Ambassador for SRKNEC, India. Here I will blog about my college activities,and Sun's open source technologies like Netbeans, Opensolaris, Sun SPOTs etc..


« February 2015