Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Hohonu

Low-cost sensors provide real-time monitoring of coastal flooding


The devices are solar-powered and use IoT to send data to a central monitoring platform

Spotted: The World Meteorological Organization reports that the rate of global mean sea level (GMSL) rise has doubled in the last two decades and is unlikely to slow anytime soon. Many coastal communities are already under threat, and as waters continue to rise, many others will be at risk. Local data could help manage that risk, particularly for underserved or less populous areas.  

Using a solar-powered sensor that provides real-time water level information, Hawaii-based Hohonu created a subscription package for towns seeking data-led responses to the threat of potential floods. The waterproof, weatherproof device comes via post and takes only minutes to install. The most technical aspect of set-up is the survey that is required to determine the height of the location of the device, which needs to be precise in order to accurately monitor the real-time kinematics of moving water and connect with satellite-based positioning systems.

Hohonu helps select a site for the device and calibrates the sensors to the specific data each area wants to collect. Users set the parameters of what they want to measure and what thresholds must be reached in order to prompt a particular action, such as closing roads or sending a community alert. The device uses Internet of Things (IoT) to transmit data to the platform, and Hohonu provides year-round hardware maintenance, technical support, and data quality monitoring.

Video source Hohonu

The digital platform can be made available to an entire community and set up to send text message alerts. As well as municipalities, the device helps engineering companies track the health and safety of their coastal projects, and farmers better predict the best day and time to harvest a crop.  

Extreme weather has become such a common threat to almost every community that Springwise is spotting a range of innovations seeking ways to keep people safe. For instance, a global network of sensors monitors the risk of natural disasters, and an insurance company has created a disaster-proof concept home design.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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