Drinking water watched by Queensland's seventh sense

May 13, 2009
CSIRO scientists inspect one of the floating nodes monitoring Lake Wivenhoe. Credit: CSIRO

One of the major sources of drinking water for south-east Queensland is now under the watchful eye of Australia's largest integrated intelligent wireless sensor network.

CSIRO and a local authority in Queensland, SEQWater, have joined forces to monitor the Lake Wivenhoe catchment, which spans an area about the size of the city of Brisbane, and supplies water to the region's 1.5 million residents.

Approximately 120 nodes, using CSIRO's FLECK™ smart technology, are monitoring environmental conditions on Lake Wivenhoe and in the surrounding catchment.

CSIRO Senior Research Scientist, Dr Matthew Dunbabin said it is hoped that these sensors can provide the platform for the next generation of water quality monitoring systems.

"This is about real time data collection from the storage to the shore with a level of speed and detail not seen before," Dr Dunbabin said.

The sensor nodes operate in a meshed network, which means they record environmental variables and cooperate with each other to set up an ad hoc network to wirelessly transfer data.

"This gives us the capacity to monitor 'events' in real-time, such as high rainfall, droughts or contaminants entering the waterway," Dr Dunbabin said.

"If the network detects an 'event', it can autonomously advise the boat to sample in more detail."

Seqwater principal scientist, Associate Professor James Udy said the network is a cost-effective way of integrating different measures such as water quality, event flows, weather and pasture conditions, as well as cow movement.

Of the 120 nodes, 45 are floating and measure water temperature through the water column, while another 70 are land-based and spread across the catchment.

An autonomous solar-powered catamaran travels between the floating nodes gathering data.
Developed by CSIRO, this is manually controlled through a PDA, web interface or web-enabled mobile phones.

The technology being used at Lake Wivenhoe is on display in Sydney from 12-14 May at CeBIT Australia at Darling Harbour.

Source: CSIRO Australia

Explore further: Student designs and develops revolutionary new hand-held laminating tool

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bushfire impact on water yields

Jan 22, 2008

While forest fires can often result in an initial increase in water runoff from catchments, it’s the forests and bush growing back that could cause future problems for water supplies by reducing stream flows.

Sensoring the World Wide Web

Apr 15, 2009

CSIRO scientists will lead an international initiative to develop standards for sharing information collected by sensors and sensor networks over the Internet.

Tampa Bay Becomes "Smart Bay" With Well-Placed Sensors

Aug 17, 2005

A demonstration in July in which scientists and engineers from the University of South Florida placed sophisticated, small, rugged sensors at strategic points in Tampa Bay and downloaded data from them wirelessly illustrated ...

Cambridge to host first city-wide wireless sensor network

Apr 05, 2007

Harvard University, BBN Technologies, and the City of Cambridge have begun a four-year project to install 100 wireless sensors atop streetlights in Cambridge, Mass., creating the world's first city-wide network of wireless ...

Recommended for you

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

3 hours ago

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

11 hours ago

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

11 hours ago

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

First series production vehicle with software control

12 hours ago

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central electronics and software architecture RACE. This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces ...

Amputee puts limb system through its paces

14 hours ago

"Amputee Makes History with APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb" is the headline from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where a team working on prosthetics observed a milestone when a double amputee showed ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.