There are entire areas of automation today that i know virtually nothing about (arduino? Raspberry Pi?), but in order to observe and record what is going on in a permaculture design to provide documentation of accomplishment, we need to be gathering data and analyzing it.
I recognze that the need exists, but am nowhere near conversant with curent technology for doung it.
Needed data points range from meterological - temperature, wind, precipitation; to soil moisture, temperature - lots more soil data, of course, but temp and humidity are easy things to track on a near continuous basis. Ph and organic content don't call for the same frequency and are harder to do on that basis.
Crop growth and health, harvest quantities, time from planting to various stages up to harvest. Might be possible to set up digital cameras to do time lapse images of areas, capturing information on growth rates, time to stages of development, presence of disease, pests, pollinators?
Swale and pond monitoring? Being able to record water levels in swales to document how much water they hold in the system might be a good data point for convincing people that they work. Tracking pond levels, which, along with swale numbers, could be cross referenced against meterological data to help with analysis of ponds buffering droughts, for example.
I am sure there are loads of things to track (I have not touched on livestock). Also certain here are means for tracking and then analyzing about which I know nothing, but in his broad community, some people surely do.
Who wants to geek out on how we can use solar powered units with wifi capability to gather all the data and stream it to our lap tops for statistical analysis and graphic representation?
And is this an appropriate place for discussing automation of other processes, like pumps and heaters in aquaponics, or livestock feeders and waterers or doors on chicken coops or...?