Twenty-five scientists from all over the world attended a DST-sponsored National Workshop at Amritapuri in September 2009 on Wireless Sensor Networks for Landslide Monitoring, Detection and Mitigation.

“This subject of wireless sensor networks is very important as it represents a cutting-edge technology,” stated Dr. Sreehari Rao, Chief Controller R&D, DRDO in his key-note speech. Dr. Rao has been honored as an Outstanding Scientist.

He continued, “I am very happy that Amrita University has taken up research in this area. This has got wide applications in the field of defense also. The findings from this research at Amrita can be effectively utilized in our future projects.”

The Amrita team had recently concluded the WINSOC project wherein wireless sensors were installed in the landslide-prone area of Munnar in order to provide prior warning in case a landslide became imminent. In July 2009, during the heavy monsoon rains, the sensors registered an increase in soil pressure and a warning was issued to inhabitants to evacuate the area.

“This workshop is to celebrate the initial success of a pilot project in saving lives,” said Prof. Vinod Chandra Menon, Honorable Member of the National Disaster Management Authority, in the second key-note address. “We have started talking of critical applications through WINSOC – a collaboration which actually links together 11 partners across seven countries.”

Eleven partners, nine from Europe, and two from India, Amrita and Antrix, had participated in the project. Dr. Maneesha Ramesh, who had led Amrita’s participation provided an overview of the project. “It is estimated that the annual loss due to landslides worldwide is $400 million,” she stated. “So there is potential to have much societal impact by deployment of this technology.”

Why had the team decided to use wireless technology? “For such a project, a lot of sensing devices are needed,” Dr. Maneesha explained. “Munnar is a hostile place and wireless networks can sense, process and transmit data, while requiring very less maintenance. Only constraint is battery power, and we are looking into using solar-driven sensors.”

After the morning session, the delegates were invited to meet with Chancellor Amma. There was a detailed discussion regarding future research that can be done in this area. Post this meeting, the delegates presented their research work.* The next day the group toured the actual deployment site in Munnar where the wireless sensor network system was installed.

“The signals transmitted from these sensors are sent to our campus for processing,” Dr. Maneesha informed the delegates. “This data is available online at winsoc.org. Scientists interested in conducting research into the phenomena of landslides can access this data and study the signal variations and patterns in real-time.”

“We are pleased that a very distinguished gathering of experts from different parts of India came together for the workshop,” stated Dr. Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor of Amrita University. “All delegates** represented very highly reputed national agencies, particularly dealing with disaster management, a topic which is of great significance to the nation and of immense importance and priority for us at Amrita.”

Speaker

Topic

Dr. R. Siva Kumar
Head, Natural Resources Data Management Systems [NRDMS]
3rd Keynote Speech
Dr. H. M. Iyer
Rtd. United States Geological Society (USGS)
 
Dr. V. S. Hegde
Director, Earth Observations Systems, ISRO
Space Disaster Management Research at ISRO
Dr. V. Prasanna Kumar
Director CGIST, University of Kerala
Database Modeling of Landslides
Dr. S. Chandrakaran
HoD, Dept. of Civil Engineering, NIT Calicut
Geotechnical Factors Affecting Landslides
Dr. C. Muraleedharan
Geologist (GSI, Trivandrum)
Causes and Mechanism of Anthoniar Colony Landslides and Remedial Measures
Dr. John Mathai
CESS
 

List of Participants

Dr. Sreehari Rao
Outstanding Scientist, Chief Controller R&D (ECS), DRDO
Dr. G. J. Nair
Head, Seismology Dept.
Baba Atomic Research Center
Prof. N. Vinod Chandra Menon
Honorable Member, National Disaster Management Authority
Dr. G. Sankar
Scientist ‘E2' (CESS)
Maj Gen (Dr.) R. Siva Kumar
Head, Natural Resources Data Management Systems [NRDMS]
Dr. S. Chandrakaran
Professor and Head
Dept. of Civil Engineering
NIT Calicut
Dr. V. S. Hegde
Director, Earth Observations Systems, ISRO
Dr. H. M. Iyer
Geologist
Dr. Bhoop Singh
Director, Natural Resources Data Management Systems [NRDMS]
Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India
Dr. V. Prasannakumar
Professor (CGIST)
Shri. A. Ganju
Director, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment [SASE]
Dr. T. M. Mahadevan
Geologist
Shri. R. K. Garg
Scientist ‘E’, Deputy. Director, SASE
Dr. C. Muraleedharan
Geologist (GSI Trivandrum)
Dr. Sunil Dhar
Programme Director-URUSWATI
TSO to Director-Defence Terrain Research Laboratory [DTRL]
Dr. Sajin Kumar
Geologist Jr. (GSI Trivandrum)
Dr. S. P. Mishra
Deputy Director-URUSWAT
Defence Terrain Research Laboratory [DTRL]
Dr. K. A. Unnikrishna Menon
Scientist ‘F’
Rtd. Division Head (NPOL)
Dr. Sumit Sharma
Scientist [DTRL]
Shri. Snehmani
Scientist ‘E’, SASE
Dr. K. M. Nair
Ex. Director, CESS
Dr. Vikram Gupta
Scientist (Engineering Geology)
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
Dehra Dun
Dr. K. G. Thara
Head of Disaster Management Faculty
Institute of Land & Disaster Management
Member of State Disaster Management Authority
Government of Kerala
Ms. V. K. Mini
Meteorologist
Indian Meteorological Dept., Trivandrum
Event Details
Date: 
2009-11-18 09:00 to 2009-11-19 18:00

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