Hey all! Really excited to have discovered Arduino and am still trying to wrap my head around its potential uses. I am starting a directed study in school -- I am a biology student -- and I will be designing, building, programming, and installing a 6 foot tall (mostly buried), wireless groundwater meter at the UBC Farm.
I'd really love a bit of guidance regarding what products I might need as I know next to nothing about electronics or programming. That said, I am not looking to get spoon-fed! :) The project is still in its preliminary stages, but it looks as though the thing will be housed in a 4in (diameter) x 6' PVC pipe. The pipe will be buried, but its top will be accessible for maintenance and the electronics, etc.
It will be outdoors in a marshy area; it will need to read with an accuracy of approx. 5mm; it will measure a range of approx. 6 feet; it will relay data to a computer in the farm centre (about 150 meters away); it will be powered by a small solar panel. As one may imagine, the water won't be the cleanest. I'm not quite sure what kind of filtration we'll be able of putting together, but it definitely won't be the purest water. Temperature of the water may also fluctuate given outdoor temps, though it will likely only be used during the summer.
I've looked into different types of sensors: sonar and a capsense-type sensor stand out as the most useable given the aim of the project, but I'm really not all that sure. I'd be more than happy to provide further detail (!!), but the project is just starting so there may not be much more to say at this point :).
A push in the right direction would be great! For instance, I was perusing through the products section and have no idea what the difference is between all the Arduino products... I've only ever seen the starter kit!
Many thanks in advance! Super excited!