The HydroNet project was aimed at designing, developing and testing a new technological platform for improving the monitoring of water bodies based on a network of sensors, installed on buoys and on board of autonomous miniaturised navigating and cooperating robots, embedded in an Ambient Intelligence infrastructure.
The network of sensors is able to sample (up to 50m depth) and analyse several chemical and physical parameters in water to check in real time and continuously monitoring the well-being status of water bodies. Chemo- optical- and bio-sensors have been developed and used for the monitoring of physical parameters and pollutants in water such as chromate, cadmium, mercury, oil, and chlorophyll. Enhanced mathematical models have been also developed for simulating the pollutants transport and processes in rivers, lakes and in coastal waters.
The HydroNet sensors on robots and on buoys, operating autonomously on-site and in a wireless network modality, add substantially new and more advanced performance to traditional solutions based on network of fixed sensors or on remote sensing techniques. In fact, the network of mobile sensing robots performs several tasks, such as:
- To navigate waters without traditional boats;
- To control greater areas and to collect large amount of data;
- To realize a campaign of monitoring for several days without assistance, operating as an autonomous system;
- To navigate diverse waters, such as coastal waters, natural and artificial lakes and lagoons, rivers in upstream and downstream directions, even overcoming possible small banks;
- To follow the source of pollutants and to realize precise maps.
The HydroNet partnership included five SMEs with a profile of technology providers.