The objective of the project was to build a digital screening system to predict volcanic eruptions. With the information obtained with sensors Waspmote is going to build a family of 'digital twins' digitally simulate what is happening inside the crater and to experiment with an active volcano in real-time.

Volcanologists are committed to the latest technologies offering the Internet of things (IoT) to monitor real-time everything going in and out of the craters, and predict eruptions. The company that combines innovative scientific expeditions with technology projects to promote positive changes, Qwake, he has relied on the technology of Libelium to develop a network of wireless sensors in the mouth of hell, which is known to the volcano Masaya in Nicaragua.

Masaya is one of the most active Latin American volcanoes. In fact, during the last quarter of 2008 its caldera threw ash and steam reaching a height of 2.1 kilometers. Currently, one of the craters has in its interior with a lava Lake of 600 square meters that allows to visualize the dynamic behavior of the magma effects can be seen where waterfall, explosions and lava eruptions.

The team of Qwake, led by Explorer and director of documentaries Sam Cossman, the Government of Nicaragua, Libelium and General Electric)GE) have worked on this project to launch the first volcano online. The expedition took place in the months of July and August of 2016.

Qwake needed to implement a wireless monitoring system able to collect, transmit and store data in real time. For this reason, they chose Libelium technology to obtain information directly from the crater.

To access safely the Santiago Crater, lava open Lake, where Sam Cossman and his expedition developed a system of zip lines that would descend in an efficient way both to the expedition team as well as the material. This allowed to install sensors Waspmote near the crater platforms for data in an environment so extreme as difficult and almost inaccessible.

Sensor platforms deployed in the Masaya Volcano were Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO and Waspmote Plug & Sense! Ambient Control acting as repeaters of the signal sent by the first. More than 80 sensors were connected to measure CO2, H2S, temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure.

Encapsulated sensor platforms were vacuum-sealed to protect them from the heat inside the crater and also in areas close to the volcano. The temperature where the majority of sensors placed was around 150 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 65 degrees Celsius), though in some parts of the volcano they reached between 800 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (between 426 and 537 degrees Celsius).

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO sent information directly to the Meshlium Gateway and in some cases, when the signal was low, to the Waspmote Plug & Sense! Ambient Control acting as a Repeater. These data are sent via Xbee 900HP of Digi International. IoT Gateway collecting data and sending information by 3G to the data base of GE which was then displayed in Predix, a Cloud of GE developed for the Industrial Internet platform.

Early detection of eruptions

The main objective of the project was to build a digital screening system to predict volcanic eruptions. This information will be used by researchers and scientists to build a family of "digital twins" that digitally simulates what is happening inside the crater.

The ultimate goal of this project is to offer a public service giving access to the population and decision makers to allow them to experiment with an active volcano in real-time.

The cloud platform-based predictive analytical tools use a combination of data collected after more than 20 years of work on the ground in the Masaya Volcano and the information obtained by the sensors connected to the sensor platforms Waspmote Plug & Sense! that settled it in this project. All these data will help to anticipate volcanic crisis and act in pioneer as an early warning system. After this first project, the expedition believes that there is great potential for developing other applications into volcanoes around the world.


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By • 31 Jan, 2017
• Section: Study cases, Control, signs distribution, networking, Simulation