Saw a Squirrel

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This week I dedicated most of my time to helping Erin with figuring out how to use and implement the thermal camera as well as with setting up a plan with the balloon use. In terms of the thermal imagery, we were able to verify that at ~15m you could spot a squirrel on the camera screen though the actual heat reading appeared fairly inaccurate. Squirrels, like most mammals have a body temperature around 37 degrees C – the the camera however only picked up a heat signature of 20 degrees C. Weather would have been a factor in degreasing the body temperature, but this means that we can’t get an accurate reading to be able to tell differences in species so we will be heavily relying on post processing to determine animals. This leads into the second worry that the current camera cannot give a live feed or any form of video. This means that we need to either look into a different thermal tech or gutting and reworking the current camera we have.

12 October 2015

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In this weeks meeting Charlie started things off with laying out what questions we still had for Oli such as dates for the trip, in what location, and where would we be staying. We also discussed the logistics of the Xsede conference and the likely-hood of needing to fly directly from Iceland to Miami. On a side note, the idea of a Wilderness type program at Earlham was brought up. Our next topic was brought up by Erin, that we might have some issues with the balloon idea but that running the balloon off of a telephone pole might be the better option. Ben detailed what he had found regarding the thermal camera and that will start on a way to map the data and logistics of using it. Nic annotated a page on android dev explaining how processes work and when to use them, as well as possible implementations of old Sheshat code into the FieldDay app. Deeksha went over requirements for the SIGCSE poster. Kristin has been working with the LightBlueBean, figuring out the interface enough to get a test up and running and has been working with Charlie and Nic with the design and implementation of FieldDay app. Tara has been doing work with the sensors and has been working with Mike Deibel on soil fertility and found we might be bale to build an equivalent to a near IR spectroscopy. The Munsel colour test is definitely viable for use with visible light. Eamon started doing work with the front end and getting google maps to geolocate points and the Drop menus are finished and easily useable.

Keep plugging along

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I spent some time playing around with more code for the FieldDay app with functionality and built a few different skins to see what felt right, what I liked, etc. Gitlab was down but everything seems to be working smoothly once more! I also have started helping Erin out with research on the wetland birds and ways of applying the thermal camera. While we need more information from Oli, we were able to consolidate some of what we do know into a more concise idea. A bit ago I also did a little background research on Googles project loon and found that our idea for balloons is still very viable as the max hight is around 20miles up and with the largest mounting in Iceland being only 7miles, I think our chances are still good of getting a usable tech.

The ball starts moving!

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Earlier this week we had a programmers meeting to decide the direction for the app such as the mechanics and architecture. While we initially will hold off on the graphic designs for the app there is still much to be done!

I’ve started researching the process states within Android and how the app will interact with the hardware of the Nexus. So far the developer webpage has been most beneficial in understanding the way that processes work by default and how to tweak that to individual needs. I also found a very valuable system service called prostats that allows you to see how RAM is being allocated and gives you to the tools to analyze it for specific features.

App dev thoughts

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Im slowly coming to the conclusion that the android platform is a tinkerer’s dream and that there are hardly any restrictions to get in your way (iOS I’m looking at you). I’ve spent the week continuing to learn the ways of java and android studio but have started to shift my thoughts to how to implement and set up the new $FIELDSCIENCE app. Through exploring the source code and the app itself I know the general nature of what is needed (i.e., ambiance, temp, notepad, etc) in the app and brain storming on new ways to implement them as well as taking note on the things I like from the original app. Things feel like they are starting to get rolling!

Time for a cup of Java

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Week 2 began with copying and reading trough the old files for the $FIELDSCIENCE program. Once on my local machine I was able to load the program and begin to sift my way through the app’s source code. One challenge that I was made aware of is that the original code was written using Eclipse IDE and the current supported system is Android Studio IDE. Luckily, the book (The Big Nerd Ranch Guide to Android Programming) that I chose to learn from is written entirely for Eclipse IDE and I will be translating the learner’s programs to ones working within Android Studio (to quote Charlie “sometimes its like drinking from a fire hydrant”). With this being the case, I should have a firm grasp on the differences between the two IDE’s.

My time this week was spent learning through google searches and reading/attempting the programs within the book. Progress is going well and I am feeling fairly comfortable using Android Studio and the basics of java with the help of a cheatsheet for syntax. My goal in the next week is to have a firmer grasp on the program we already have and the direction/updates that we plan to make in the future.

In any case, all this talk of java really makes me crave coffee.

Jumping headfirst into Android Dev

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This first week has been all about learning the environment in which I’ll be working in, mainly Android Studio. Having done some minor iOS dev in the past the concepts are not foreign to me and instead of being completely fresh its going to be an exercise in how to apply knowledge to a new syntax.

Much of my time has been spent getting to know how android apps functions, both behind the scenes (the code) as well as how to use the device (completed apps and such). I began viewing forums, guides, and videos to better my understanding of the mechanics and the tools available to me. Following that I started where every self respecting programmer starts, with a simple “hello world” program.

Once I felt I had a basic understanding of who things worked I started to wade my way through github in search of interesting code to read. I am a tinkerer at heart and learn new code through working my way through existing code to get a feel for whats what.

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