Current temperature conditions at the Marine Science Center

Updated December 2013: The seawater temperature monitoring is no longer functional since I moved away and someone turned off the computer. The data I collected for 2010, 2011, and part of 2012 are available as one csv file: 2010-2012_MSC_temps.csv  The time stamps are all in Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5, no daylight savings time) and the water and air temperatures are in degrees Celsius.

I put together a temporary monitoring system for the seawater temperature and air temperature here at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.

The monitoring system is was running using some homebrewed Labview code and a National Instruments USB-6008 Data Acquisition Card to read temperatures off of two Analog Devices TMP36 temperature sensors. The seawater temperature sensor sits sat in a bucket of flowing seawater inside the aquarium room. The air temperature sensor is was situated in the shade just outside the aquarium room.

Additionally, there is was a float sensor (McMaster-Carr PN 46515K81) in the seawater bucket that indicates when the seawater system ceases to flow due to algae clogs or low tides. When there is was no seawater flow, the seawater temperature sensor returns returned “NaN”, because the temperature data are suspect when there is no water flow. When there is was no seawater flow, the system notifies notified several users by sending an email through Gmail.

In a roundabout way, this old kitty litter bucket is was internet-enabled and has had the capability to email me when seawater stops stopped flowing in our system.
The $23 float switch obtained from McMaster-Carr senses when there is no longer water flowing into the bucket. The white wire leads to a TMP36 temperature sensor under the black heat shrink tubing.

The system monitors monitored temperatures continuously, and saves saved the temperatures to a data file once every 5 minutes, using the mean temperatures for the preceding minute.

The Labview 2009 code used to run the system is provided here: Seawater monitoring system Labview 2009 files (.zip file)