On-site monitoring of changes in the weight of dead leaves can provide useful information on water flux change of forest surface. In addition, it can be used as an index for forecasting wildfires because it is closely related to how much the dead leaves are dried. To implement an alarm system that forecasts wildfires, the weight of dead leaves should be measured under the in situ condition. This research reports on the development of a load cell-based embedded system for continuously monitoring changes in the weight of dead leaves contained in a 1 m x 1 m box located in an experimental forest site. The measurement system consisted of four load cells, a 16-bit microcontroller, a 16-bit analog-to-digital converter, SD memory card-based data storage, and an aluminum container with a wire mesh screen bottom and four preloaded springs. The developed system calibrated with known weights in conjunction with the use of the two-point normalization method could measure changes in leaf weights due to both precipitation and drying, showing the potential for the use in an on-site measurement system that can monitor changes in leaf moistures over time in a quantitative manner.
Figures & Tables
Fig. 1. Views of the leaf weight monitoring frame (a) and the load cell with spring and preload adjusted screw (b).