Quickly Develop Environment Sensing Project with Arduino MKR ENV Shield

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Arduino is usually the first board of choice for makers and builders of electronic projects. I started building my first projects with Arduino Uno. They are just awesome. Huge community, lot of support, open source code and design makes them perfect for any use case in electronic projects. Arduino is now gearing up to catchup with the market trends and current development trend in IoT domain.

Last year, Arduino announced a new series of board called MKR boards which added various capabilities for modern application development in IoT. One of my favourite is the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 which has in-house quad band GSM module for connectivity. You can easily plug your sensors and get connected to cloud for pushing data and making cool visualisations.

Arduino has made it even easier to plug sensing capabilities to MKR board by introducing the MKR ENV shield. The MKR ENV Shield allows a MKR board to acquire environmental data collected by an array of sensors. The full specs of the ENV shield is given below –

Input Voltage 3.3V
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Ranges Pressure: 260 to 1260 hPa
rH sensitivity: 0.004% rH/LSB
Humidity accuracy: ± 3.5% rH, 20 to +80% rH
UVA, UVB and UVBI measurment
Communication I2C/Analog
Length 61 mm
Width 25 mm
Weight 32 gr.

The sensors used in the MKR ENV shield are of the latest generation and measure:

  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Ultraviolet UVA intensity Ultraviolet UVB intensity,
  • UV Index (calculated)
  • Light intensity (in LUX)

To help you store the data collected locally, this shield also has a slot for a microSD card. The SD Card need to be bought separately tough. There is also ready to use and fully tested library with examples and methods to read values from the different sensors, that provides an easy and smooth integration path.

The Sensors used in MKR ENV shield are:

Atmospheric Pressure

ST LPS22HB is used for pressure measurement. It has following specs –

  • 260 to 1260 hPa absolute pressure rang
  • Current consumption down to 3 μA
  • High overpressure capability: 20x full-scale
  • Embedded temperature compensation
  • 24-bit pressure data output
  • 16-bit temperature data output
  • ODR from 1 Hz to 75 Hz
  • SPI and I²C interfaces
  • Embedded FIFO
  • Interrupt functions: Data Ready, FIFO flags,
    pressure thresholds
  • Supply voltage: 1.7 to 3.6

  Temperature and Humidity

ST HTS221 is used for temperature and Humidity measurement. It has following specs –

  • 0 to 100% relative humidity range
  • temperature range from -40 °C to +120 °C.
  • Supply voltage: 1.7 to 3.6 V
  • Low power consumption: 2 μA @ 1 Hz ODR
  • Selectable ODR from 1 Hz to 12.5 Hz
  • High rH sensitivity: 0.004% rH/LSB
  • Humidity accuracy: ± 3.5% rH, 20 to +80% rH
  • Temperature accuracy: ± 0.5 °C,15 to +40 °C
  • Embedded 16-bit ADC
  • 16-bit humidity and temperature output data
  • SPI and I²C interfaces

Lux of the ambient

VISHAY TEMT6000 is used for LUX intensity measurement. It has following specs –

  • High photo sensitivity
  • Adapted to human eye responsivity
  • Angle of half sensitivity: ± 60°

UltraViolet wavelengths  A / B

VISHAY VEML6075 is used for ultra-violet wavelength measurement. It has following specs –

  • Converts solar UV light intensity to digital data
  • Excellent UVA and UVB sensitivity
  • Reliable performance of UV radiation measurement under long time solar UV exposure
  • 16-bit resolution per channel
  • UVA and UVB individual channel solution
  • Low power consumption I2C protocol (SMBus compatible) interface
  • Temperature compensation: -40 °C to +85 °C
  • Output type: I2C bus
  • Operation voltage: 1.7 V to 3.6 V

This MKR ENV shield will quickly help you prototype any environment sensing related application. Add that over to any MKR board and your Environment sensing IoT application is ready to go live.

Also read –

Arduino GSM Board For Cellular IoT Projects – Arduino MKR GSM 1400


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