You are here

Hakai Institute Sensor Network

The Hakai Institute sensor network supports several research programs and provides many uses for the general public, as well as for air and marine traffic. Since the deployment of the first meteorological stations in 2012, the network has expanded considerably. As of fall 2015, the network included 34 sensor nodes, over 100 individual sensors, and has captured millions of individual measurements. The network also includes 9 webcams, archiving 5-minute snapshots from dawn until dusk. The sensor network was implemented by Hakai Energy Solutions, with input and assistance from Hakai researchers and staff.

Four nodes in the sensor network


Geographically, the sensor network includes nodes on Quadra Island, Calvert Island, Ethel Island (in Rivers Inlet) and one near the mouth of the the Koeye River. Webcams are deployed at each of these locations. The Calvert Island and surrounding area sensor network is illustrated below, consisting of 34 sensor nodes and 7 communication nodes.


Nodes near the Calvert Island field station

The sensor network includes the following:

  • 16 meteorological stations, measuring air temperature, snow depth, humidity, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation
  • 14 stream sensor nodes, measuring stream depth, water temperature, conductivity, fDOM and pCO2
  • 3 terrestrial sensor nodes, measuring water table depths and soil characteristics

The sensor network uses Campbell Scientific dataloggers and radios. Each of nodes are served by satellite internet, connected with a combination of cable, fiber and WiFi networking equipment. On Calvert Island, 4 primary communication hubs, including nodes deployed on Calvert and Hecate Islands, provides coverage to many of our core study areas.

Most sensor nodes are solar powered, although two stream sensor nodes are powered by small hydro turbines and one node includes a methanol fuel cell as a power backup. In total, 5.9kW of solar panels and 60W of micro hydro are used to charge 61 deep cycle batteries (~3800 lbs), which are used to power the data loggers, sensors, cameras and communication equipment.

The network is powered by solar, micro hydro, and fuel cells.

Data from all nodes is published online in near real-time, allowing researchers to view and respond to significant weather events. Automated filtering and flagging is applied to the data, and manual QC functionality is currently being developed.  Requests to access sensor network data should be sent to

Deployment of marine sensor nodes started with ocean acidification monitoring on Quadra Island in December, 2014. Additional marine sensor nodes were deployed in 2015, in addition to improvements and extensions to the existing terrestrial sensor nodes.