Streamflow Gaging in a Remote Area Using Cellular Telephone Telemetry

by David C. Wheelock, Synergics, Inc, Annapolis, United States,
Rhett C. Hurless, Synergics, Inc, Annapolis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


A case study will be presented describing the utilization of cellular phone technology in a remote sensing situation. Because expected annual energy estimates are vital in planning small hydroelectric projects, it is important that the flow data from river gaging stations provide reliable information to the engineer. When the project is situated in a remote area where gaging stations are unavailable, such as on an island or in emerging nations, the design engineer may need to provide the flow data himself. The problem of transmitting the flow data from a remote mountain stream away from any roads and telephone lines, to the office for computer analysis was solved by using an innovative method utilizing cellular telephones to access raw data from solar powered data loggers and pressure transducer gaging instruments. This paper will detail how the technical and practical problems were addressed, making the system viable and potentially suitable for other remote locations. Methods used by the team to cope with the isolated environment in accumulating reliable flow data will also be discussed.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic data | Streamflow | Gaging stations | Computer analysis | Case studies | Power plants | River flow | Remote sensing

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