Case history


Landslide monitoring network of the Lombardy region


Until recently, the situation pertaining to monitoring the hydrogeological issues within Lombardy was fragmented, due to installation by local authorities of several monitoring systems to meet the individual civil defense needs. This situation did not ensure the efficiency of these networks, since each system was stand-alone and had different operating characteristics than the other systems; therefore measured data could not be integrated in a system for the overall monitoring of a larger landscape. For this reason, Lombardy Region created Regional Law no. 5 of 31.07.2013, assigning all geological monitoring tasks within the Region to the Geological Monitoring Centre of ARPA Lombardia (CMG), therefore overcoming the technological and management fragmentation that was created over time. The purpose of CMG therefore is not only to provide technical-scientific prevention and control support to civil defence authorities in areas at environmental risk, but also progressive acquisition of the various geological monitoring systems existing in the territory of Lombardy, which were managed by different entities up to that time, ensuring that they are adequate and technologically appropriate, with the final purpose of developing a single integrated regional network.
Project Armogeo was developed within this context, a tender to maintain and develop the regional geological monitoring system which was won by CAE as part of a Temporary association of companies (TAC).



Due to this project, the first in Italy and in Europe having such ambitious and wide-ranging objectives, we can state that the network of the Lombardy region is the largest landslide remote sensing network in Italy, widely diffused over the regional territory and controlled by a single regional entity, in line with the direction already followed for many years in the field of water and weather monitoring.
The complexity of Armogeo requires open and interoperable technologies to allow full integration of different systems and technologies, whether newly supplied or already existing; this need was able to be fulfilled by the Mhas system by CAE.
The monitoring system includes manual and automatic systems to collect weather data (rain, levels) and geotechnical data (movements, slips, falls).
In addition to on-site monitoring, the project also includes further activities to prepare for new installations, such as drilling and probes, or to manage alert procedures, such as geotechnical modelling of instability and consequent assessment of alert thresholds for some causative parameters (rain, levels, movements).



The Armogeo project involves supplying and installing 18 geological monitoring networks which include a total of 25 stations fitted with traditional geotechnical sensors (clinometers, inclinometer chains, piezometers, etc.) and GPS and total station systems.
CAE, the head company of the TAC that won the project, is also responsible for the maintenance and remote maintenance of the existing water and weather network comprising 36 weather stations with sensors to measure environmental parameters (rain gauges, thermometers, snow meters, barometers, etc.) and for the remote maintenance of the 18 existing landslide monitoring networks.
Data transmission for dialog between stations and central control room is by means of redundant communication systems, mainly GPRS with satellite back-up. A radio transmission system based on the DMR standard protocol is used for some hydrometric stations. A further element of distinction of the system is the massive use of local wireless networks (Wireless Sensor Network-WSN) to manage the geotechnical sensors distributed on several landslides. These networks use wireless nodes called W-Master and W-Point, which distinguish the solution offered by CAE not only for monitoring landslides but also banks, structures or any other elements to be monitored.