Clemson University Intelligent River(R) overview



Imagine that a river could talk. Imagine that it could convey its condition to the people who manage the water flow needed for drinking water...hydroelectric power...recreation...and industrial production. Imagine an Intelligent River.

Water flows. So does information. Water resource managers need to know immediately -- not days or weeks later -- if there is a dangerous change in water temperature, oxygen levels, flow-rate or chemical make-up. Imagine a system that reports this information as it's happening. That vision is being realized today by the Intelligent River project at Clemson.

A university-wide research team of river and wetland ecologists...computer engineers...software developers...forestry and natural resource scientists...and applied economists is creating an information web to monitor, analyze and report the health of a river.

They've developed innovative technologies to collect water quality data in real-time from remote locations...and display it on a desktop or smart phone.
A battery-operated computer smaller than a Rubik's Cube makes this possible. Called a MoteStack, the patent-pending technology allows an unprecedented number of sensors to be deployed across a large area...and operate as a highly efficient network. 

The MoteStack is inserted into a patent-pending buoy system anchored to the river floor. External sensors collect water quality and flow data.  

The MoteStack processes the data and transmits it to Clemson's high-performance computing system.
Information is then displayed on an interactive website where water resource managers can view multiple data sources and locations at the click of a mouse.

With this information, managers can make informed decisions as to when to release water or respond to a pollution event. In the near future, many of these management decisions will be automated through the Intelligent River system using integrated models driven by real-time information. 

The same technology that's being used to monitor rivers can be used to monitor virtually anything. Plans are already in the works for an Intelligent Farm, Intelligent Forest...even Intelligent Buildings and Roads.

This technology puts Clemson in the forefront of the green economy - the knowledge-based economy. It offers the world a model for effective water resource management. It also holds promise for a new high-tech industry in South Carolina. Imagine the opportunities. Imagine what we can do.