As we see AquaShield is as much of a hardware project as it is software. The whole system is based on automatization so it is essential to have a powerful software that can handle all the data collecting, sorting and processing. Furthermore we think, it is essential to have an open software, so users could easily develop their own monitoring and controlling methods, moreover to hack the code for their specific needs.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF AQUASHIELD’S SOFTWARE PACKAGE
We think, it is important to share all collected data, to create a development driven community, but internet connection is not always self-evident, so we planned the whole hardware and software to be able to operate locally, without any connection to the net. Either way, You could access all the necessary features for monitoring and controlling You aquaponics setup, but connected to our shared servers, You will be able to reach vital data, like weather forecast, predefined settings for various plants and fish species and a – hopefully – active community to share your experiences with other enthusiasts.
For covering all sides we are creating a web frontend, a backend and a microcontroller software as well.
THE WEB INTERFACE (AQUASHIELD USER INTERFACE – ASUI)
This is going to be the way for most of the users to interact the AquaShield’s hardware.
We beleive, that we create the best product through continous development and that’s why we already experimenting with the v0.1 ASUI dashboard:
You could easily access all the sensor datas and relay’s status and will be able to switch the relays manually (for maintenance and testing). Furthermore, you could set up all kind of rules for your water pumps, grow lights, valves etc. depending on sensor’s data. It will be easy to create complex routines, like filling up and draining the beds with different intervals.
Check the routine here in the video above (notice, that it is possible to create group rules :D). Also, with this dashboard You could check your aquaponics garden’s health in a second:
At the ASUI dashboard You will be also have the permission to access and download all the data collected by the sensors. Also, You will be able to look through the complete cycling process (Operation Journey), so it’s going to be easy to modify it if needed.
To be able to create rules for operating the AquaShield, You will need to define Your setup. All sensors have to be assigned to a specific input on the AquaShield and all relays have to be identified for the operating system to work properly.
After the setup, all sensors and relays going to be tested through the backend. If there is a faulty relay, or You get wrong sensor data, this will be the interface to fix it.
THE MICROCONTROLLER SOFTWARE
This is where the magic happens J All sensors, relays, and other hardware will interface with the Raspberry Pi in AquaShield through this software. This software will be in charge to receive the rough data coming from the sensors, transform it to a processable values for the backend.
This type of layered software architecture provides us the wealth of possibilities to receive and transform data, enter or interfere the monitoring or controlling process on all levels. But there’s more: we think with this approach it will be much easier for users to start work with the code, so we could create a growing community around AquaShield.
Have thoughts about the subject? Drop us a few lines!