Safety for citizens first: a new alert system for the underpass in via Contea, in Rubiera (Reggio Emilia)
The underpass in via Contea (on the Provincial Road S.P. 51), in the Municipality of Rubiera, has shown some water run-off problems during highly intense raining events which are every day more frequent because of climate change; the evidence of this is the bad weather that, on February 2016, caused several damages all over the province of Reggio Emilia.
For this reason, the public authority decided to equip the above mentioned subway with a monitoring and alert system that was opportunely installed and successfully tested on May, 15th, 2017. The aim is to guarantee the safety of all road users by activating several traffic lights in real time near the entrances of the subway which can potentially be flooded.
The system has been designed to reduce false alarm and/or malfunctions to their minimum; to do so, the system uses 3 different sensors that contribute to the automatic activation of the alert status, according to the instructions of the local authority:
- when the minimal hydrometric threshold is exceeded, the traffic lights will be kept off, but a pre-alert notification will be sent via SMS to the staff appointed by the local authority;
- in case that the alert threshold is exceeded, apart from sending an SMS to the staff appointed by the local authority, the Mhaster data acquisition station will turn on the traffic lights and change the scenario, therefore acquiring data and photograms every 5 minutes.
The scenario changes can also be implemented manually, in real time, by a qualified staff, in case that they consider it necessary. The staff itself has got the total control over the devices, from a remote location too: operators can gain access directly to the graphic interface of the station through any web browser, without the need of a software license, thanks to the web server located on the station.
This system is therefore efficient even in case of electric black-out, as it is not supplied with a 220V supply, but with a solar cell and a battery and it includes:
- 2 capacitive level sensors;
- 1 pressure piezometric sensor;
- 2 traffic lights;
- 1 high-definition camera with its stand;
- 1 GPRS/UMTS communication module;
- 1 Mhaster datalogger.
The high-resolution camera is designed to intensify the shots in case of raining events, and it allows us to record and check them remotely too.
Moreover, the versatility and the power of the Mhaster datalogger allow the station to interface with hydraulic operating devices (electric submersible pumps, level sensors, etc.), as well as to handle the scenario changes, by differentiating pre-alert from alert activation logics. The datalogger is actually equipped with an interface to set the alarms on every single measurement or on a combination of them.
The system installed at the underpass in Rubiera is an example of "CAE Solutions", which always guarantee quality and reliability and are designed ad hoc in order to help the Mayors and their Municipalities.