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IBM helps monitor Hudson River

New York, US: Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries teamed up with IBM and Clarkson University in Potsdam to create the intelligent systems and cyber-infrastructure technologies required for real-time water monitoring.

REON is a “source-to-sea” real-time monitoring network for New York’s Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers, with technology replicable for rivers worldwide.

The three organisations are working to develop  River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) as a sensor network for the Hudson River, and once it is installed, it will be the first environmental monitoring system for rivers and estuaries. While similar networks have been used in oceans, this new system is being adapted to provide real-time monitoring in other waterways.

Kathleen Hickey, Beacon Institute’s chief communications officer, said, “Clarkson University provides the research and the scientific component, and IBM provides the cyber-infrastructure for REON project.”

Having the sensor network in the river helps the Beacon Institute better understand what’s happening in the ecosystem and helps clarify human and natural impacts on the environment. Sensors are located in the river from Fort Edward at its northern point to Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County. The goal, Hickey said, is to eventually install sensors along the entire 315 miles of the Hudson.

In Beacon, an advanced monitoring platform fitted with solar panels is located just south of the city’s harbour. The platform contains 15 computer-controlled sensors, which submerge and rise from the river every hour on a continuous cycle.

In Albany, West Point and Poughkeepsie, Single Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler sensors use sound waves to measure the water current as it flows. IBM uses the sensor site in Poughkeepsie as a hub to retrieve and test the data.

Meanwhile, a bill (A 6726-A) sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D-Theresa) has been passed in the New York State Assembly that would allow the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries to access funding through the state Dormitory Authority to renovate Clarkson’s 116-year-old Old Main for an advanced research facility.

Source: PoughkeepsieJournal.com and NY State Assembly