EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The use of open-source, affordable hardware in soil gas research

Elad Levintal
Elad Levintal
  • The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (

The development of new affordable sensors and hardware, and the ability to log high-resolution data for long periods of time can enhance the ability to capture soil gas process-related heterogeneity. The use of novel open-source sensors, defined as hardware whose design is made publicly available, lowers the cost dramatically compared to commercial solutions and allows implementing higher spatiotemporal resolution sensor grids that are imperative for modeling and mechanistic understandings. Here, I will present the basic concepts, advantages, and challenges of using open-source, low-cost, do-it-yourself hardware for soil gas monitoring (mainly O2, CO2, CH4, and N2O), including examples in which this type of sensors was utilized to solve soil-related research questions. For example, the development of a low-cost wireless underground sensor network for O2/CO2 monitoring under waterlogged conditions using the relatively new low-power long-range (LoRa) communication protocol. Another example is a portable, low-cost incubation chamber for quantifying soil microbial activity using in-situ sensors for measuring O2, CO2, CH4, and air temperature at high temporal resolution (<1 min). In all the presented studies, only readily buyable hardware is used, and complete technical guides on design, assembly and installation are provided. By doing so, the adoption and cost barriers can be reduced, allowing easier reproducibility and opening the technology for new applications in soil gas monitoring studies.

How to cite: Levintal, E.: The use of open-source, affordable hardware in soil gas research, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4787,, 2023.