What technology are you using?
Q: Brief overview of the technology you are using?
A: Ion Sensitive Electrodes for Nitrate detection and other related sensors, Multitech and Nordic Semiconductors IoT electronics for data logging and low power long range wide area networks, advanced IoT gateways from Multitech and Raspberry Pi, Azure public IoT hub, Sayantek proprietary Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Application (SDA) software running on the gateways and in the cloud, Azure public cloud for Big Data storage, Node.js cloud-based web servers and browser-based clients, Azure cloud-based analytics, and US EPA Canary event detection software running on gateways and in the cloud.
Q: How does this technology advance the field/process of detection?
A: This integrated set of technologies defines a new generation “IoT platform for Smart Water” that is disruptive not only to the detection process but also to other use cases in the water sector.
Q: What innovations are you bringing to the sensor technology? Network technology? Data analytics?
A: Our team has developed and integrated advanced technologies in the following areas: new low power data logging electronics and its integration with existing off-shelf nitrate and other sensors, low cost low power long range telemetry using LoRaWAN chips, cyber-secure Software Defined Networking and Software Defined Applications that can be managed from anywhere and at anytime, ingestion of IoT data from LoRaWAN gateways into a secure public cloud IoT hub, extraction of IoT messages containing sensor measurements from the IoT hub into multiple endpoints including cloud-based “Big Data” storage, advanced visualization methods supported through thin browser clients that are served by scalable cloud-based web servers, advanced “event detection” techniques that are applied to the sensor time series datasets on the gateways (edge computing) or in the cloud (cloud computing).
Q: What has been an unexpected technological issue that you had to face?
A: We designed the enclosures for Nitrate probes and the electronics using off-the-shelf parts, and unfortunately some water got into the electronics after a while. We learnt from that failure and redesigned the whole thing in one week. We are happy to report that the new design worked well and much more lightweight and modular compared to first design. So I am glad that we had the first failure!
What brought you to the Internet of H2O challenge (besides the prize money)?A: Our passion for addressing the challenges in the water sector.
Reflection on the pilot:
Q: What do you hope to learn about your technology during this pilot?
A: How to make it better and less expensive.
Q: What have you learnt already after your deployment? If there were issues during your deployment, how do you plan to mitigate them?Q: What benefits has this challenge offered regarding the refinement of your product / services?
A: One issue was discussed earlier, and has been addressed. The issues with previous long term deployments of current market leading sensors were shared with our team, and that knowledge is valuable. Who would guess that Zebra Mussels can grow on wipers that are meant to keep the sensing surface clean! The key challenge for us is to make sure that our designs are appropriate for the typical maintenance schedules.
A: There is nothing like the experience gained by deploying your gadget during a rain event. I was lucky to find a nearby store that carried ponchos. It helps you to design a product for the real environment.
Overall, how has the experience been working in this project and with the Internet of H2O Organizing team?
A: This long term relationship (compared to two day hackathon events) has been very unusual and helpful. Everyone has stepped up to the plate and helped out.
What do you hope will happen after the competition is over?
A: This competition is a time-wonderful period for our team-mates during which we are focused on achieving specific objectives that are a part of a larger set of objectives that are defined by our vision for an IoT Platform for Smart Water. So the competition has strengthened the bonds among the teammates and their companies. The key next phase will be the distribution and commercialization of the innovative technologies throughout the whole world.
What would you say to other cities that are trying to do projects like this?
A: We firmly believe that this leading hackathon should be replicated by the “Smarter” cities who believe in improving the water sector.