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QinetiQ leads consortium to develop next generation environmental monitoring sensorwebs
Article Type: News From: Sensor Review, Volume 30, Issue 4
QinetiQ – a technology provider and consultancy to the energy and environmental sectors – has announced that it is leading an investigation into how advancements in sensor technology could revolutionise environmental monitoring. The SWIMA project (Sensor Web for Infrastructure Management) is currently using field trials in the River Tamar catchment to demonstrate how the exploitation of international standards in sensor networks, or sensor webs, can improve environmental monitoring capability while also reducing costs.
Supported by the Technology Strategy Board, the two-year, £900,000 project is funded by a QinetiQ-led consortium that includes: the Environment Agency of England and Wales; South West Water; 1Spatial Group Limited; YSI Hydrodata Limited and the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Geospatial Science.
“Remote control of sensors, using satellite communications to reach even the most far reaching regions, can ensure detailed measurements are collected for significant events and reduce the need for maintenance visits,” said Alec Walker, QinetiQ’s Technical Manager running the project. “The research we are conducting to monitor local water quality on the River Tamar will hopefully yield new insights that we can apply to other types of environmental sensing, such as flooding.”
Having been awarded funding in September 2008, the project has already begun to monitor water quality in the Upper Tamar Lake on the Devon/Cornwall border. More sensors, along with a secure web-based control system, will be deployed over the coming months to help the consortium develop a common user interface for managing and controlling a range of different types of sensor.
Commenting on the project, John Kupiec of the Environment Agency said: “Monitoring the condition of the environment is a major activity for us and so we look forward to exploring new technology and exploiting it in all areas where it can improve our capability and do this in an efficient manner.”