Services - Education - Tools of the Trade - Vernier LabPro
The Vernier LabPro is a data-collection system that can have various sensors hooked up to it. It gives us the ability to monitor an area remotely with input from multiple sensors. It records the incoming data while also allowing us to see it in real time. This means we can monitor an area while sealing it off from human activity. With our cables, we are able to set up the sensor array more than fifty feet away from our laptop.
The LabPro collects and records data from analog and digital sensors. With the Logger Pro 3 software that comes with the system, the data is plotted on a graph for easy viewing. The LabPro can be hooked directly to a computer so that the data can be viewed as it’s collected and saved on the computer’s hard drive, or the data can be stored in the unit’s built-in memory to be downloaded onto a computer for review later. For remote use, the system can record up to 12,000 data points. If it is directly hooked up to a laptop, it can record data until the computer runs out of hard drive space. You can change how many data points are collected per second, which will affect how much memory is used on the hard drive. You have to be careful with this setting, as too much time between samples might cause you to miss something, but collecting several data points per second wastes hard drive space. We set our system up to take two readings per second. This gives us a rapid response to any changes that may occur, but does not use too much hard drive space. With this setting we can easily store data from an entire investigation.
The LabPro has six channels to which sensors can be attached. Currently, we have a non-contact IR thermometer, two ambient temperature thermocouples, a charge sensor, and a magnetic field sensor. Our basic set-up of equipment allows us to cover an area remotely with the same types of equipment that we would use in person. We can set up the IR thermometer to take constant readings at a specific location while the two ambient thermometers take room temperature readings. The charge sensor and the magnetic field sensor basically make a tri-field nature meter so we can detect the electromagnetic field fluctuations in the general area. These sensors are sensitive enough to detect the various field changes in the area when a person walks by.
There are more than fifty different types of sensors that can be used with the LabPro system. Some of ones that might be used by our group at a later time include the barometer, light sensor, microphone, motion sensor, and radiation monitor. These are all pieces of equipment that a paranormal group might normally use during an investigation, and by connecting them to the LabPro, we can record the collected data. This will allow us to review other evidence, such as video, against this data to see if any recorded anomalies correspond to strange readings we might have gotten from these sensors. The LabPro gives us a way of recording data from a variety of instruments that previously have only been recorded by hand. This will help eliminate the possibility of human error, and the ultimate goal of data collection is to ensure an unbiased and error-free format.