We run a set of courses that are used to teach technical staff from the Environment Agency to allow them to better understand the technology behind the environmental monitoring stations that they use, install and collect data from around the country.

The courses are:

  • Introduction to Microcontrollers
  • Intermediate Microcontrollers
  • Advanced Microcontrollers

Introduction To Microcontrollers

Introduction to Microcontrollers is designed go from the complete beginnings of using microcontrollers using Arduinos as an example, go through practical electronics and knowledge of components, all the way to using then inputs an outputs of an Arduino Uno to create a simple but practical temperature monitor with alert thresholds.

Course content includes:

  • Basic electronics
  • Ohm's law
  • Common components
  • What is an Arduino?
  • Digital outputs
  • Analog outputs
  • Digital inputs
  • Analog inputs

The course content can be accessed in the course notes repository.


Intermediate Microcontrollers

After completing the introductory course, the intermediate expand on by focussing on how to connect external sensors to the microcontroller and to read and use the information provided. At the end of the course, participants have created a device that can read both simulated river level sensor and an onboard temperature sensor, and can store both readings, along with the time and date of the reading onto a micro SD card, and have built a prototype of a local datalogger.

Course content includes:

  • Red-Peg
  • 4-20mA sensors
  • Red-Peg library
  • Real Time Clock
  • Logging to SD card

The course content can be accessed in the course notes repository.


Advanced Microcontrollers

Advanced microcontrollers includes a look at a more complex, digital sensor protocol, and the delegates spend time exploring the process of sending data to a remote service on the internet, specifically designed for data collection, storage and graphing. By the end of the course, participants have extended their local datalogger to be able to send the data to a remote service on-line.

Course content includes:

  • SDI-12 sensors
  • GSM/GPRS (mobile data) shield with Arduino
  • Data formats, eg. CSV, XML, JSON
  • Use of the Teal-Mallet server
  • Sending HTTP data over the internet.

The course content can be accessed in the course notes repository.