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Challenging Water Resources Professionals for the 21st Century

The Alaska Section, American Water Resources Association
Annual Meeting Proceedings

April 4-6, 2001
Fairbanks, Alaska
Wednesday, April 4, 2001
Alaska Surface Water Session

Automated Environmental-Data Retrieval and Processing Systems

Robert C. Busey
Michael R. Lilly

GW Scientific

Automated data-collection and processing systems can significantly benefit environmental monitoring programs. Benefits include reductions in data loss, lower data-unit costs, near-real-time access, and more informed management decisions. Central data retrieval and processing computer systems improve data management and simplify retrieval. Data and Internet servers are an important element of these computer systems. Computer scripts can automatically process selected data on data-servers and complement manual data processing. This can result in reduced project costs and automated data-quality checking. Campbell Scientific data-acquisition networks incorporating radio, telephone, and satellite communications increase site-location flexibility. This allows communication to remote sites. Near-real-time access is a good tool; it can facilitate finding the solution for minor station problems and prevent costly field trips. Data communication systems require clearer signals than voice-based communications.

We will discuss methods for data-retrieval automation and scripted processing using sites in Kenai (, Big Delta (, and Fairbanks (, Alaska as examples. The benefits of these systems for end-users include faster access to data, lower data-processing costs, and reduced data loss.

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Last modified: June 21, 2001 MRL