Worldwide, cities with mountainous areas struggle with an increasing landslide risk as a consequence of global warming and population growth, especially in low-income informal settlements. Landslide Early Warning Systems (LEWS) are an effective measure to quickly reduce these risks until long-term risk mitigation measures can be realized. To date however, LEWS have only rarely been implemented in informal settlements due to their high costs and complex operation. Based on modern Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and the LoRa (Long Range) communication protocol, the [email protected]
research project is developing a cost-effective geosensor network specifically designed for use in a LEWS for informal settlements. It is currently being implemented in an informal settlement in the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia for the first time. The system, whose hardware and firmware is open source and can be replicated freely, consists of versatile LoRa sensor nodes which have a set of MEMS sensors (e.g., tilt sensor) on board and can be connected to various different sensors including a newly developed low cost subsurface sensor probe for the detection of ground movements and groundwater level measurements. Complemented with further innovative measurement systems such as the Continuous Shear Monitor (CSM) and a flexible data management and analysis system, the newly developed LEWS offers a good benefit-cost ratio and in the future can hopefully find application in other parts of the world.
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