Development and operation of a measurement system for recording fuel moisture content for field use


Supervisory Chair

External Member

Dale Hughes


Bushfire management requires knowledge about how much fuel is available to burn, and its distribution. Fuel can be either dead (e.g. litter, mulch), or alive (i.e. vegetation), and this particular project focuses on developing a time series of dead fuel moisture content (FMC) by measuring FMC using appropriate sensors and data logging devices. The measurement site will be in the National Arboretum Canberra.

In this project, you will have the opportunity to assist in designing and building a field data logging system and collecting data in the field over several months. You'll process the data with a view to developing a high-quality time series of FMC and associated micrometeorological data which may assist in interpreting spectral data acquired via remote sensing methods. You'll also learn to use various environmental sensors and data logging equipment. We can tailor the project to match your skills and interests, and we're open to developing these ideas further including wireless real-time access to the data.



  • Assist in designing, building and documenting a field based FMC system using commercially available sensors and data loggers.
  • Create a quality-controlled time series of FMC and micrometeorological parameters such as relative humidity and temperature.
  • Describe the relationship between FMC and other micrometeorological parameters.


  • Basic electronic skills and use of hand tools.
  • Basic programming fundamentals.
  • Basic statistics knowledge.


  • Application of various environmental sensors to research questions.
  • Design, construction and testing of instrumentation for field use.
  • Programming of data loggers and analysis of multi-instrument time series.
  • Fieldwork



measurements system

fuel moisture content



data logger




Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing