TAU units are autonomous remote-sensing devices designed to accumulate environmental data and transmit these data in ESRI ArcView format to Internet websites. The units are equipped with duplex communication channels to send and receive instructions for individual operation by remote command. They are capable of operating multiple experiments, which are stowed in a sealed cargo bay. Video stream is provided by onboard video camera and a streaming Internet connection. TAU is designed to provide on-demand data ports to San Diego County organizations such as SDSU field stations connected to the campus and the world. Specific experiments that will be done with the TAU unit are to accumulate a variety of Earth Systems Science data. Because the TAU unit provides a platform to stage many types of experiments, it can support experiments gathering data about the Earth's atmosphere including both traditional meteorological data and Earth radiance and gas data. These atmospheric data are currently being gathered at a few sites within the SDSU group of field stations, but at a large cost because of the technology involved. The TAU unit, especially within the Santa Margarita watershed, can also gather data on water both at the surface and in the subsurface. Data on animals such as coyotes, birds, and reptiles will also be gathered, as sensors from several Life Sciences faculty will be mounted on the TAU units to gather video and audio information. By studying the nature of the information to be gathered, the variance in cycle time of observations and transmission, and the power needs for both sensor measurement and wireless transmission, the TAU unit will help prototype inexpensive means of making widespread remote observations. By integrating the different elements of Earth System Science, the TAU unit should enable scientists to break down barriers of academic discipline, such as Life Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, and Geological Sciences, and study the broader patterns and interrelationships of Earth Systems.