Students Develop Sensor Network To Monitor Forest. The network, which won first prize in a Microsoft competition, can sense humidity, sound, temperature, carbon monoxide levels, and tree poachers.

Four college students have developed a network of wireless sensors to monitor forests in Romania for poaching, flooding, and fires. The application sends out alerts based on data about the humidity, sound, temperature, and carbon monoxide levels.

The students, from Politehnica University of Bucharest, built the application with Microsoft products as part of the company’s Windows Embedded Student ChallengE. The app won the $8,000 prize. The Romanian team was one of 30 from around the world that made last month’s finals.

The application focuses on saving the forests of Romania, where illegal logging accounts for about 40% of the trees cut down, says Christian Pop, a 22-year-old third-year computer science student at the university who led the team. That can contribute to flash floods and landslides.

By Laurie Sullivan

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