Hundreds of sensors to provide Savannah River data

By Peter Kent

Mote Stack (computer sensor)Hundreds of sensors along the 312-mile Savannah River will collect and transmit real-time data about the quality and quantity of water to scientists in a wide-ranging study of the river's ecology.  

It's a step in the Intelligent River project, in which Clemson University researchers are teaming up with Coastal Carolina University colleagues to deploy and monitor the sensing devices.  

The Intelligent River environmental data-collection system or “macroscope” will include a network of remote sensors to collect, store and send data on river conditions ranging from water quality and flow to stormwater runoff and pollution discharges.  

Wireless transmitters will send data on temperature, water clarity, dissolved oxygen and other environmental indicators to Clemson, where the information will be processed and posted on the Internet. Anyone anywhere in the world can monitor the well-being of the river.  

The Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina will provide watercraft and technical staff to deploy the equipment, replace field equipment as necessary and assist in routine maintenance.   

“CCU’s Center for Marine and Wetland Studies has extensive experience in deploying and operating a wide range of scientific instrumentation in diverse environments,” said Gene Eidson, director of Clemson's Institute of Applied Ecology. “We are excited to have them as a partner.”  

Clemson and Coastal Carolina have partnered on offshore renewable-energy initiatives for several years, combining the strengths of Clemson’s Restoration Institute, engineering and energy programs and Coastal's marine science and ocean atmospheric observation and modeling capabilities.  

“Joining Clemson’s Intelligent River team will be a great extension of the existing offshore cooperative efforts bringing technical resources and capabilities together that are needed to better understand and manage our environmental resources as integrated systems,” said Paul Gayes, director of the Burroughs and Chapin Center.  

Learn more about the Intelligent River project: