National Workshop on Wireless Sensor Networks

Nov 29, 2009
Center for Wireless Networks and Applications, Amritapuri

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.   Download Proceedings >>

WNA Workshop

“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.”

WNA Workshop

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 Scientists interested in conducting research into the phenomena of landslides can access this data and study the signal variations and patterns in real-time.”

WNA Workshop

“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



Complete List of Participants

No. Delegate
1 Dr. Sreehari Rao
Outstanding Scientist, Chief Controller R&D (ECS), DRDO
2 Prof. N. Vinod Chandra Menon
Honorable Member, National Disaster Management Authority
3 Maj Gen (Dr.) R. Siva Kumar
Head, Natural Resources Data Management Systems [NRDMS]
4 Dr. V. S. Hegde
Director, Earth Observations Systems, ISRO
5 Dr. Bhoop Singh
Director, Natural Resources Data Management Systems [NRDMS]
Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India
6 Shri. A. Ganju
Director, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment [SASE]
7 Shri. R. K. Garg
Scientist ‘E’, Deputy. Director, SASE
8 Dr. Sunil Dhar
Programme Director-URUSWATI
TSO to Director-Defence Terrain Research Laboratory [DTRL]
9 Dr. S. P. Mishra
Deputy Director-URUSWAT
Defence Terrain Research Laboratory [DTRL]
10 Dr. Sumit Sharma
Scientist [DTRL]
11 Dr. K. M. Nair
Ex. Director, CESS
12 Dr. K. G. Thara
Head of Disaster Management Faculty
Institute of Land & Disaster Management
Member of State Disaster Management Authority
Government of Kerala
13 Dr. G. J. Nair
Head, Seismology Dept.
Baba Atomic Research Center
14 Dr. G. Sankar
Scientist ‘E2′ (CESS)
15 Dr. S. Chandrakaran
Professor and Head
Dept. of Civil Engineering
NIT Calicut
16 Dr. H. M. Iyer
17 Dr. V. Prasannakumar
Professor (CGIST)
18 Dr. T. M. Mahadevan
19 Dr. C. Muraleedharan
Geologist (GSI Trivandrum)
20 Dr. Sajin Kumar
Geologist Jr. (GSI Trivandrum)
21 Dr. K. A. Unnikrishna Menon
Scientist ‘F’
Rtd. Division Head (NPOL)
22 Shri. Snehmani
Scientist ‘E’, SASE
23 Dr. Vikram Gupta
Scientist (Engineering Geology)
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
Dehra Dun
24 Ms. V. K. Mini
Indian Meteorological Dept., Trivandrum
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