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An Expanded Flood Warning System Protects an Even Greater Area from Floods

Date: 4/19/2013 12:00:00 AM

Location: Taiwan
Project Introduction:

Natural disasters always come suddenly and bring a lots of damages with them. We all know that there is a need for early warnings of this impending doom to mitigate human and property losses. For a successful early warning system it is critical to quickly assess the related parameters so as to make timely evacuation decisions and potentially save more lives. After typhoon Morakot caused the worst flooding in southern Taiwan, the government actively began to build and improve the early warning systems for flood events. The new system is going to use a wireless solution which will cover the south of Taiwan , including two central stations, eight county stations, eight town stations and 262 village stations in first stage and be installed at local village hall, as well as adding facilities monitoring functions to greatly enhance the warning effects and accuracy.

System Requirements:
Since the old system, which used cable devices, was easily damaged and disconnected when floods occured, Taiwan’s National Fire Agency was eager to strengthen its disaster prevention and rescue system, and decided that the new flood disaster warning system should fully implement a wireless network to transmit the real-time data and get better monitoring results. Due to the large number of on-site signals that need to be urgently sent to the control center, the computing capacity of computer was definitely a focus for the warning systemand it also needed to provide various I/O interfaces to connect multiple alarm equipment or other devices.  In addition, some of the terminal cabinets are installed in the outdoors without engine rooms, meaning that the relevant hardware devices must have had sufficient capability to deal with severe challenges such as high resistance to temperature difference, low power consumption, have a compact size, and other rugged features. For the sake of accuracy and correct transmission, monitoring the equipments’ status of each station through IO modules was also a necessity to ensure stable operation.

System Description:
Based on the agency’s planning framework, a variety of terminal facilities needed to be monitored and controlled such as VHF transceivers, CCTV, LED displays, broadcasting speakers, security detection, electricity operation, and environmental condition detection under the harsh operating environment. Advantech’s Embedded Fanless Automation Computer, the UNO-1172 coupled with ADAM modules (include ADAM-4055, ADAM-4017 and ADAM-4021) can overcome all these difficulties and meet the customer’s demands.  As a major controller, the UNO-1170 is not only a high performance computer with Intel processor but is also designed to be safely operated for hazardous locations with Class 1, Division 2 certification as well as supporting a wide operating temperature range of -10~60°C and wide operating humidity range of 20~95%, the built-in Advantech DiagAnywhere remote management utility, and providing several serial communication ports and Ethernet interfaces. Regarding the ADAM modules, they mainly supervise the status of the switches, alarms, motors, fans, temperature, humidity, displacement, and vibration via RS-485. By using sturdy materials, excellent data acquisition, simple and convenient installation, the ADAM-4000 series modules are a perfect fit for the highly distributed system and remote I/O applications.

Project Implementation:

UNO-1172 Class I, Division 2 Certified Intel Atom D510 DIN-rail PC with 3 x LAN, 2 x COM, VGA, Mini-PCIe
ADAM-4055 16-ch Isolated Digital I/O Module with Modbus
ADAM-4017 8-ch Analog Input Module
ADAM-4021 1-ch Analog Output Module

System Diagram:

Conclusions:
As natural disasters are occurring more frequently building resilience against natural catastrophes by issuing accurate forecasts and warnings is a necessary precaution against such hazards. With an Advantech wireless solution, any on-site condition can be promptly delivered to the central authorities and help them to make the right decisions, and the village offices can utilize the warning system to activate various alarm equipment like showing weather conditions on LED displays, sounding the sirens, broadcasting evacuation warnings by loudspeaker, sending message to supervisor’s mobile devices, etc.
Furthermore, the robust UNO computer, equipped with ADAM modules can remotely monitor all of the on-site devices 24 hour a day, 365 days a year to guarantee the normal functioning of those facilities, and even can monitor each station’s electricity status through monitoring the municipal electricity system, solar panel and storage battery to maintain a reliable operation under the adequate power supply. Instead of the previous system by improving timeliness and accuracy, Advantech’s solution has the advantages of higher reliability, better monitoring effect, convenient control etc. to benefit the flood disaster early warnings system.