iUTAH Team - Graduate Research Assistant

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Harsha Balam


Utah State University


Research Topic

Power and Data Telemetry Challenges for Remote iUTAH EPSCoR Weather Stations


iUTAH Research Focus Area



Faculty Advisor

Michelle Baker



This project involves design of power budgets and data telemetry for remotely located weather stations in Red Butte River Basin, Provo-Jordan River Basin and Bear River Basin as a part of the iUTAH EPSCoR project. The stations are part of the GAMUT instrumentation network, which are powered by solar energy due to remote locations. The remote locations create interesting design challenges owing to varying day-night solar energy, cloudy periods, dust coupled with canyon walls and trees that limit telemetry options. The power system design must not only operate the instruments during the day but also store energy for their continued operation at night. A significant power and telemetry challenge is designing and maintaining these systems for wintertime conditions when cloudy periods and heavy snowfall lead to significantly reduced access to solar energy and sporadic transmission of data. Establishing and maintaining radio telemetry connections between stations to facilitate near real-time data collection requires proper sizing of antennas and location of repeater towers where line-of-site communication is unavailable. In addition to appropriate engineering design of system properties, empirical field-testing is necessary to arrive at suitable system siting and function.



Harsha just completed a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Utah State University in May 2013. Harsha has been engaged in design troubleshooting and development of instrumentation, sensors and telecommunications, including heat pulse sensors that will be used in the sap flux aspect of GAMUT. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India in 2010. Harsha is a big foodie, loves football (soccer) and is a diehard supporter of Manchester United Football Club in Old Trafford, England. He wants to learn scuba diving and get a chance to swim alongside a whale in the future.




TOWER of POWER - Power Challenges for Remote iUTAH EPSCoR Weather Stations
TOWER of POWER - Power Challenges for Remote iUTAH EPSCoR Weather Stations
Presented by: Harsha Balam

March 2013