Adler Planetarium

The Challenge

Adler Planetarium is home to one of the largest and most significant collections of historic scientific instruments in the world.  The Adler’s collections include telescopes, astrolabes, sundials, rare books, historic photographs, celestial cartography, globes, orreries, and scientific works on paper.

More than 3000 objects are housed in the museum, either on display in an exhibition or in storage.  Christopher Helms is the manager of the collections at Adler and has the primary responsibility to ensure every object is properly cared for.  Many of the objects are hundreds of years old–Chris must ensure they don’t degrade or deteriorate due to non-ideal environmental conditions primarily from humidity, temperature, and light fluxuations.

Historically, Chris and other members of the Adler staff manually recorded temperature and humidity measurements, typically taking 30 to 45 minutes each pass to record the values.  Chris had looked and several options for automated data logging but was concerned with the complexity of the systems and the total cost to install and maintain.

After a quick trial of two wireless temperature and humidity sensors from Swift Sensors, Chris decided to deploy a full wireless sensor monitoring system throughout the museum.  In total 81 wireless sensors are making 240 measurements in the exhibits viewed by visitors and in the collections storage rooms.

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