Smart water control: A strategy based on IOT technology to preserve oceans and sea environments, Part 1

The control of a marine environment may be a high priority project especially for areas that are considered points of interest at a worldwide level, such as the Venice lagoon. A common meteorological phenomenon, known as “acqua alta” (high level water) happens there from time to time and may cause many issues to the people living in that beautiful area (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The 'acqua alta' in Venice, Italy (Source

The “acqua alta” in Venice, Italy (Source

How could electronics technology be utilized to alert Venice citizens in case of an occurrence of this fascinating but, at the same time, trouble making phenomenon?

Smart IOT technology might be adopted to achieve this goal, like the “Venus Swarm” project (see Figure 2)

Figure 2

The Venus swarm (Source RESEARCHITALY)

The Venus swarm (Source RESEARCHITALY)

The Venus consists of a swarm of robot fish that are equipped with integrated sensors that are silicon-based to measure in real time the level of the water and other environmental parameters of the lagoon.

The robots can communicate with each other by utilizing some integrated wireless gps modules creating a net of distributed wireless sensors that is able to communicate with a central hub. The data is measured in the water environment under control, elaborated and stored in a control center that might effectively inform the people living in the Venice marine area about the status of the sea, to organize accordingly their daily activity taking into account this important notice.

Moreover the data might be crossed-checked and analyzed to correlate the level of the water with the environmental condition, temperature, pressure, tides recurrence, etc.

This consideration suggests that a large quantity of data might be managed to accomplish this smart control of the Venice lagoon: Performing each day many of these types of interactive control requires having many sensors mounted on many robot fish, in order to measure the level of the water in many different points of the sea and these measurements have to be taken in different instants of the daytime. How do they manage and, most of all store all this large amount of data?

The answer to this question may be provided again by the electronics technology: indeed a new interesting solution of high capability integrated memory has been recently introduced: the super memory (see Figure 3):

‘This week, the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton announced a breakthrough with a new device called the “Superman memory crystal”.

A process of etching data into the glass with a laser allows the memory crystal to be scanned in five dimensional (5D) digital data, while storing properties including a whopping 360 TB/disc data capacity. Additionally, the crystal is pretty tough to destroy: It boasts a thermal stability up to 1832 degrees Fahrenheit (1000 degrees Celsius) and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature.’ (Source: CNBC)

Figure 3

The super-integrated-memory (Source: Optoelectronics Research Centre University of Southampton)

The super-integrated-memory (Source: Optoelectronics Research Centre University of Southampton)

In the second part of this blog series I will further deal with the strengths and the potentials of the “Venus swarm” solution, which is a really promising example of an application of electronic technology to environmental control.

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