This CEMI funded research project between Symboticware Incorporated, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, and Laurentian University established an embedded network for weather monitoring across North Baffin Island.

Mining and other operations in Canada’s far north must deal with not just extreme weather but a climate in flux because of global processes. Weather monitoring is especially important for day-to-day operations, for seasonal planning, and for evaluating weather-related risks. However, in such an extreme and remote habitat, collecting environmental data is a daunting task.

Automated sensors are an ideal solution as they can survive and operate under extreme conditions. However, existing monitoring equipment has not kept up with modern needs for on-site, intelligent decision making, interoperability of components from different sources, the ability to create multi-habitat monitoring hubs, and the need for bi-directional satellite communication. In the summer of 2009 Symboticware addressed a number of these needs by installing new technology which greatly enhanced the functionality of existing “traditional” monitoring equipment. Specifically, Symboticware installed “SymSats” at three existing weather stations located in a north-south transect across north Baffin Island, at the sites of operation of Baffinland Iron Mines, Inc. The SymSats enabled data retrieval via satellite and set up the cyber-infrastructure that will allow researchers and industry to now build a broad-ranging environmental monitoring network.