While researchers at SMART have been quick to make use of the Digital Living Lab, the use of the network is now spreading through the University.

Patrick Booth is now in the final year of his PhD at UOW and is using a sensor provided by SMART for collection of his data.

His work involves creating a new gas emission model for underground coal mines, for which it is critical to measure the atmospheric temperature and pressure.

The work involves placing a lump of coal in a pressure chamber known as a ‘high pressure triaxial apparatus’. It’s otherwise known as ‘the rig’.

“We place the coal sample in the cylinder and then we subject it to hydraulic pressure and axial force,” Patrick said.

“Effectively, we are placing the coal under both top and bottom pressure, and horizontal pressure.

“Once the coal core is under pressure, we pass different types of gas under different pressures through the coal.

“We find that the more we squeeze the coal, the less gas comes through. The less permeable it is.”

Critical to the data collection is to understand the effect of atmospheric pressure and temperature on both gas flow and confining force. Overnight the hydraulic oil will cool and become denser, affecting force measurement.

This is where the SMART environmental sensor, linked to the LoRaWAN network, comes in.

“The technology is available to simply and reliably provide IoT based environmental information such as pressure, temperature and humidity. Sensors even exist that detect the presence of people in a building.

“Because it is IoT, you can have the data that presents in a form that correlates with other factors being examined,” Patrick said.


If you think your research may benefit from the Digital Living Lab and IoT technology, contact SMART at smart-facility@uow.edu.au