A data management and publication workflow for a large-scale, heterogeneous sensor network

Amber Spackman Jones, Utah State University
Jeffery S. Horsburgh
Stephanie L. Reeder
Maurier Ramírez
Juan Caraballo


It is common for hydrology researchers to collect data using in situ sensors at high frequencies, for extended durations, and with spatial distributions that produce data volumes requiring infrastructure for data storage, management, and sharing. The availability and utility of these data in addressing scientific questions related to water availability, water quality, and natural disasters relies on effective cyberinfrastructure that facilitates transformation of raw sensor data into usable data products. It also depends on the ability of researchers to share and access the data in useable formats. In this paper, we describe a data management and publication workflow and software tools for research groups and sites conducting long-term monitoring using in situ sensors. Functionality includes the ability to track monitoring equipment inventory and events related to field maintenance. Linking this information to the observational data is imperative in ensuring the quality of sensor-based data products. We present these tools in the context of a case study for the innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydrosustainability (iUTAH) sensor network. The iUTAH monitoring network includes sensors at aquatic and terrestrial sites for continuous monitoring of common meteorological variables, snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture, surface water flow, and surface water quality. We present the overall workflow we have developed for effectively transferring data from field monitoring sites to ultimate end-users and describe the software tools we have deployed for storing, managing, and sharing the sensor data. These tools are all open source and available for others to use.