Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intelligent sensors gear up for real-time flood monitoring

19.10.2006
An intelligent flood monitoring system that could give advance warning of the type of rapid flood that engulfed the UK Cornish village of Boscastle in 2004, is under test in the Yorkshire Dales. Danny Hughes, Phil Greenwood and colleagues from Lancaster University won an award for their paper describing the system at the UK e-Science All Hands Meeting in Nottingham last month.

The system, which makes use of grid computing, could reduce the cost of flood damage by providing warnings of local flooding in time for people to take pre-emptive action. Most current systems issue general warnings over large areas because they rely on sparsely-distributed sensors which send information to a central point for analysis. The new system, which is based on a network of intelligent sensors that can be placed in flood-prone sites, promises rapid, low-cost warnings specific to these sites.

Professor Paul Watson, from Newcastle University who chaired the AHM programme committee said: "we were impressed with the way in which the UK e-Science Programme has encouraged the formation of a multi-disciplinary team to address an interesting problem of great practical importance to the population as a whole; flooding is a major concern in the UK and many other countries. By making advances in a set of scientific fields and then combining the results, the team has built a novel and interesting new system".

The system now undergoing trial in Yorkshire consists of 13 depth sensors fixed in locations across a flood plain and a digital camera which rather like a traffic speed camera, monitors flow rate from the speed of flotsam between two points. Each sensor incorporates a powerful computer, no bigger than a packet of gum, which communicates wirelessly with other sensors in the network to form a computing grid. The software that enables the sensors to operate as a grid has been developed under the UK e-Science Core Programme (Open Overlays project). The North-West Development Agency is funding the flood monitoring work.

When flood waters are rising, the sensors can change how they operate together so that the network can continue to monitor the situation even if some sensors are submerged or swept away. The sensors are also able to adjust their power consumption so batteries are conserved during dry times and power is available for increased activity during flood. "As soon as the sensors detect water coming down the valley, the network gears up," says Danny Hughes.

In order to provide flood warnings, the system makes use of flood forecasting models which were developed at Lancaster by Professor Peter Young and colleagues. The models can be run on the sensor computing grid and adjusted so that their predictions stay in line with what the sensors are recording. "An interesting possibility is to use such a local warning system to give advanced warning, even in catchments where the response to rainfall is very fast, making flood forecasting very difficult," suggests Professor Keith Beven of Lancaster who is also involved in the project. "An example was the Boscastle flood in 2004, where a general forecast of heavy rain was issued, but the event was too localised to be able to give a warning to Boscastle residents. Fortunately, nobody was killed in that event," he says.

Judy Redfearn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>