Water Sensor Testbed

In 2016, AeroTech and Concursive sponsored a $10,000 ODU Challenge Prize to develop mobile apps to provide residents and businesses with information to mitigate the effects of flooding on their lives and operations.

Such apps depend on real-time feeds of data and analytics for accuracy and usefulness. This is especially true for street flooding awareness where the combination of tidal and rainfall events can cause unpredictable and highly localized disruptions to travelers in an urban environment like Norfolk.

In 2017, the City of Norfolk issued a contract to have 6 low-cost water level sensors built and installed in Norfolk. These sensors communicated their measurement to the cloud via a LoRa network.

Completion of this project proved the concept of deploying these sensors and getting data from them in real-time.

At the same time, as the resilience infrastructure project in Norfolk gained momentum, there arose needs for other water sensor data for water quality, flow, salinity, etc. All data from autonomous sensors communicating wirelessly. There are plans to install many sensors this area from such organizations as the Department of Homeland Security, and the university of Virginia.

In order to meet the communication needs, RISE has committed to set up the communications infrastructure to support these efforts.

Wireless Communications Evaluation Program

The first step in establishing this testbed is the evaluation and selection of the communication networks. There are many currently commercially available and, in order to select the solution best for its needs, RISE is establishing a 4-month evaluation program to install several candidate networks for evaluation with a view to a system procurement at the end of the pilot project. Six vendors will each install a total of 6 wireless sensors, and RISE’s evaluation team will document the performance. The networks will be fully in place in early March 2018.

Bridge Installation

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Lamp Post Installation

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LoRa Gateway

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