Floods are the most common type of natural disaster, causing thousands of casualties every year. Among these events, urban flash floods are particularly deadly because of the short timescales on which they occur, and because of the high concentration of population in cities. Since most flash flood casualties are caused by a lack of information, it is critical to generate accurate and detailed warnings of flash floods. However, deploying an infrastructure that solely monitor flash floods makes little economic sense, since the average periodicity of catastrophic flash floods exceeds the lifetime of a typical sensor network. To address this issue, we propose a new sensing device that can simultaneously monitor urban flash floods and another phenomenon of interest (traffic congestion on the present case). This sensing device is based on the combination of an ultrasonic rangefinder with one or multiple remote temperature sensors. We show an implementation of this device, and illustrate its performance in both traffic flow and flash flood sensing. Field data shows that the sensor can detect vehicles with a 99% accuracy, in addition to estimating their speed and classifying them in function of their length. The same sensor can also monitor urban water levels with an accuracy of less than 2 cm. Two of the sensors have been deployed in a flood prone area, where they captured the only (minor) flash flood that occurred over the one-year test period, with no false detection, and an agreement in the estimated water level estimate (during the flash flood event) of about 2 cm.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||2015 IEEE 12th International Conference on Mobile Ad Hoc and Sensor Systems|
|Publisher||Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Jan 7 2016|