With Our-Sci, Nexus-Computing is building software for the future of research. Our vision is to enable communities and individuals to be part of research and have all the tools available to create meaningful and collaborative science projects based on sensor and survey data.
We are building a sensor based on spectral reflectometry used to measure nutrient levels in vegetable and carbon concentration in soil. Soil is responsible for absorbing a major portion of CO2 in the atmosphere. Therefore it is vital to measure exactly how much carbon is bound in ground today and how much is absorbed over time. Measurements like these may serve as basis for issuing carbon credits for farmers and land owners which then can be traded on a market platform where sellers and buyers can participate. In our age, the technology for such a market place is almost certainly going to be based on blockchain technology. It is imperative when building methods and sensors to publish in open source, so data samples, processing and estimation can be verified by carbon credit buyers, sellers and regulators.
We have built a mobile app that enables users to take measurements from any USB enabled sensors and supply additional survey information, such as geolocation, pictures or data pulled from a web based API (for instance national soil databases, or in the case of Switzerland from GIS). Our platform is built with collaboration in mind. For solving issues at scale, comparable methods and sensor data are a necessity in order to create meaningful models for prediction. This ensures that we can support research on a global and distributed scale.
These tools that we are building are mere helpers for the next revolution of scientic research which is going to be built on the foundation of transparent data, methods and sensors. Today reasearch happens in an isolated and disconnected manner, however, the next step of science will involve solving global problems through collaboration. Collecting sensor data today is not a barrier anymore, anyone can pick up a handheld sensor, go to a field and take a few samples, all pieces of technology are available. Moreover, hardware cost is as low as never before. What is missing, is a collaboration platform, that connects hardware and software to the cloud, supporting a structured way for contributing to global research. The Android application we are building offers ability to mix sensor data with survey information based on the Open Data Kit standard. Our web application offers a bucket type system that lets multiple users contribute to the same survey easily. On top of this we have built customizable data visualization, in order to show relevant project progress and feedback for end users.
We are building this to support communities to research. Currently we are collaborating with Yale University to build 70 sensors for taking soil measurements from farms and the Bionutrient Food Association to establish ways to determine nutrient density in vegetables as part of the Real Food Campaign. We are partnering with Nori to figure out how to create a system for immutable soil carbon measurements as basis for a cryptocurrency based carbon credits marketplace.
Take our application for a spin and support us in building all these tools in open source, by contributing to our Android- or Webapplication, build dashboards and measurement scripts to support new devices or sensors. Check out our hardware repository and see how we are building our sensor, assemble it yourself, or let us know what we can do better!
Our-Sci GitLab repository »
Visit our web blog where we discuss current environmental research topics and provide regular updates about the development of our projects.