Summer recap: Ice Cellar Monitoring Project with ASRC-Federal
Posted 2 days ago

Hi everyone, it’s Ianjon again. I wanted to write a recap of my summer work on the Ice Cellar Monitoring project I told you about in May. I’ve done some neat things this summer. Last time I wrote a blog post I had just started on prototyping a device with a Raspberry Pi to monitor temperature and humidity for the North Slope ice cellars. Everything I’ve done I learned how to do this summer including basic python coding, soldering, and setting up a raspberry pi.

 Soldering sensors to ethernet cables

There are a few iterations that I went through for the prototype, which is about 6 or 7 different versions/adaptations onto each one, making it better and more efficient for the users and cost effective . The goal of the project and this kit I’m designing is to help people across the North Slope preserve their food from hunting by providing a monitoring system that can notify them when it starts hitting a threshold on either temperature or humidity.

Testing how my prototype runs on solar power

Besides just building the prototype, I need to test if it fits in the real world, and eventually deploy these kits in ice cellars for people to use. I reached out to some of the community in June/July and was asked to present at the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission about the project. I presented to the Commission and they were interested in the project a fair amount. After that presentation, I was asked if I could join the ASRC-Federal STEM team on a visit to the village of Point Hope to talk about my project.

The trip to Point Hope’s main objective was to get kids of all ages interested in higher education. I followed out with ASRC-Federal employees to help with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering , Mathematics) program. I had never been to Point Hope before. After helping out with that, I went and interviewed some of the local people about their ice cellars and took some measurements. After the trip was over, I came back to Fairbanks to fine tune the project even further.

The summer task to design and build a prototype is fairly close to being “real -world active”. For the next year I need to run some tests in similar conditions to an ice cellar. After that’s done, fine tune some of the things and then get a real test going in various locations. I’d like to start in my hometown of Utqiagvik since it has the largest population density in the North Slope.