Low-Cost Sensors

Date/Time & Location

Thursday, October 10th from 5:30-6:30 PM in Galleria North Room


James Foster, University of Hawaii
John LeBrecque, UT-Austin


The slow long-term reduction in price point for science-grade instrumentation has experienced a dramatic surge in recent years, driven partly by the recognition that large volumes of relatively low accuracy observations can be more powerful in addressing some science goals than sparsely recorded, higher accuracy, observations. This recognition has coincided with the rapid movement of technology towards the “Internet of Things.” Types of sensors that used to have limited economic potential are now being mass-produced and integrated into mass-market electronic devices, with smart phones being the most notable. The economies of production for these devices mean that there is a burgeoning new range of low-cost sensors that are making it possible to do new science, as well as doing traditional science in a different way.

Especially relevant to the IRIS and UNAVCO communities is the recent availability of low-cost, low-power, high-resolution accelerometers with integrated digitizers, dual-frequency GNSS chips and wireless communications. These sensors are available for only a few dollars and are integrated into some of the latest Smartphone ranges. We propose a Special Interest Group breakout at the SAGE/GAGE workshop to provide a venue where our communities can learn more about what sensors are available, what they can do, and what sort of scientific applications they can seed, and exchange experiences with these technologies etc.