#InnovateTheLake Feature: Open Access Wireless Network

“How many sensors [stations] do people think are deployed on Lake Erie right now--on the open waters, not tributaries?” 

Ed Verhamme, an Environmental Project Engineer for LimnoTech, posed this question to a room of researchers, technologists, and community stakeholders at the Smart Lake Strategy Session that took place on July 15th in Sandusky, Ohio.

“300 is the number I came up with...the number of real-time sensors is a lot less.”


LimnoTech is working to ask the right questions and provide the technology needed to find the answers. A part of this work includes finding the best way to send the data from Lake Erie to the internet, so that the data coming from sensors can feed into a network of better controlled, monitored, collaborative information across Lake Erie.

Currently, sensor sponsors have to pay their own way to connect their sensor’s data to the internet. Verhamme shared that establishing an Open Access Wireless Network would be a low-power, long-range, low-cost, scalable opportunity to connect the data collected by so many scientists, engineers, and community members to the internet, where it can be utilized by many. 

A large component of Cleveland Water Alliance’s Smart Lake Erie initiative is to better connect the lake with the people who are able to solve the issues it faces year after year. 

Many of these solutions will be derived from a greater understanding of Lake Erie through the comprehensive collection and analysis of data--something an Open Access Wireless Network, as LimnoTech suggests, can best facilitate. 

Read more LimnoTech here!

Rita Flanagan