USDA Forest Service Missoula Technology & Development Center Air Program News

Issue 7

August 2007

Using the DataRAM 4 Smoke Particulate Monitor Training Presentation

Wildland and prescribed fires generate smoke.  Increased particulate matter in smoke can impair visibility and raise health concerns.  The DataRAM 4 is a portable smoke particulate monitor that determines smoke concentration trends. 

This training presentation shows how to set up the monitor and the satellite transmission unit to send data to the Interagency Real-Time Smoke Particulate Monitoring Web site.  The presentation is available for Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management personnel in Flash Media format at:
Or can be viewed at:

For all other agencies, the presentation is available in Flash Media format at (Username:  t-d, Password: t-d)
Or can be viewed at:
(Username:  t-d, Password: t-d)

Contact Mary Ann Davies ( or 406–329–3981) for more information

New Satellite Telemetry System

MTDC is working with Airsis to develop a new satellite telemetry system that utilizes the Iridium satellite constellation.  The Iridium constellation should provide for much more reliable data transmission than the current system.  Data transmission latency and antenna placement issues should be eliminated with the new system.

One of the main features of the new system includes an indicator showing the installer that a message has been sent by the system and received by the web server. The web server then sends a message back to the remote system and an LED indicator is illuminated.  This insures the installer that the system is properly located, has good antenna placement, and is functioning prior to leaving the site.   The prototype system is complete and evaluations will be conducted in Sept, 2007. 

Cost for a new system will be about $2,000 (the price as previous versions).  This cost will be effective through the end of 2007.  You can upgrade your current system for $1,000.  Satellite transmission costs will remain the same at $50/month or $600 per year.

Contact Andy Trent ( or 406–329–3912) for more information.

Project Ideas Are Needed!!!!
Graphic displaying the selection process of a proposal.  The cycle is, Proposals From the Field, Steering Committee, Washington Office Funds Program, Produce Tools, to Tools for the Field.

If you have ideas for new projects, please let us know. The National Watershed, Soil, and Air Technology and Development Program steering committee meets each year to select new projects for the coming year. The committee includes Forest Service employees from across the country. If you have ideas for projects they should consider, please fill out our project proposal form or call Dick Karsky ( or 406–329–3921) or Andy Trent ( or 406–329–3912). They will submit your proposal.

Download (Username t-d, Password t-d) printable proposal form (20K, Adobe Acrobat)

Download (Username t-d, Password t-d) editable proposal form (29K, Microsoft Word)

Forest Service and BLM employees can fill out an online proposal form available over their internal computer networks: (

Link to free Adobe Acrobat Reader software Click the icon on the left to download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader




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