Temperature Monitoring Software Feature Overview
CBSR is developing a free and open-source software for monitoring an environment's atmospheric conditions. The software allows for any computer with a USB port to monitor and log climate conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure given by any transmitter with a USB interface that provides this information. The system is robust, works on any operating system and requires no technical knowledge to install or operate. The software offers a simple interface for customizing how conditions are monitored such as log recording frequency, alarm criteria, and recording units.
CBSR uses its atmospheric condition monitoring system to monitor the temperatures of our cryofreezers. Typical temperature monitoring systems capable of this service require a large investment in infrastructure to operate. This infrastructure usually consists of large panels and specialized wiring run to each container so that any expansion or reconfiguration of the room is difficult and expensive. Unlike these systems, CBSR’s temperature monitoring system requires no specialized wiring or unsightly equipment to operate. CBSR has opted to use Raspberry Pis, $35 credit-card sized computers, to run the atmospheric condition monitoring software. Each Raspberry Pi connects to a SEM710 temperature transmitter, courtesy of Status Instruments, to monitor temperatures as low as -200°C. Together this pair monitors a single freezer, and up to three pairs can be powered from a single standard wall outlet. This means the room can be rearranged and expanded without having to invest in any additional non-standard wiring.
CBSR’s deployment of the temperature monitoring software is just one example of how it can be used. It was designed to be robust enough to monitor any combination of conditions provided the USB compliant device reading them is supported by the software. It can support anything from the monitoring of the temperature of a single standard room to the monitoring of the atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity of hundreds of freezers. The type of computer used and the types of transmitters used are completely open-ended. In the event that a USB compliant transmitter is not supported by the software, CBSR provides a software development kit to implement the device’s drivers into the rest of the system. And because the system is open-source, we encourage any developers to share the drivers they develop so that others may use the transmitter within their own systems. Because with these drivers the software intelligently determines how to read the device and handles the rest from there.
The temperature monitoring software was designed to be as user-friendly as possible. All instances of the software running on a single network can be configured from a central location running the client manager component of the system. This client manager can specify to each client monitoring process how each of its transmitters should be observed. This includes things such as how frequently to take recordings from the transmitters, where recordings should be backed up, what criteria are used to determined an alarm, and much more.
The atmospheric condition monitoring software provides alarm capabilities based on criteria fully customizable by the user. As soon as a reading is gathered that violates this criteria, the software triggers an alarm and administrators are contacted through email and SMS. These alarms are ended as soon as the condition being monitored returns back into its specified range.