Project title: Wireless Sensor Networks for Critical and Emergency Applications (WINSOC)

Funding Agency: Funded by the European Commission under FP6 program

Funding Amount: 2.13 Cr

Year of Start: 2006

  • Wireless sensor networks are currently receiving huge attention as a basic tool to detect emergency events or monitor physical parameters of interest, such as radiation, pollution, temperatures, pressures, and so on.
  • The key idea of WINSOC is the development of a totally innovative design methodology, mimicking biological systems, where the high accuracy and reliability of the whole sensor network is achieved through a proper interaction among nearby, low cost, sensors. This local interaction gives rise to distributed detection or estimation schemes, more accurate than that of each single sensor and capable of achieving globally optimal decisions, without the need to send all the collected data to a fusion center. The whole network is hierarchical and composed of two layers: a lower level, composed of the low cost sensors, responsible for gathering information from the environment and producing locally reliable decisions, and an upper level, composed of more sophisticated nodes, whose goal is to convey the information to the control centers.
  • The key issue is the interaction among nearby, low cost, sensors in a way that increases the overall network reliability, decreases the probability of congestion around the sink nodes, provides scalability and tolerance against breakdown or stand-by of some sensors, and eliminate the necessity for battery recharge. Building on this idea, the consortium has put together expertise from large companies, academies, research centres, end-users and SME's, to create a strong synergism between the academic world, industries and end-users.feild.png
  • The goal is, on one side, to develop a general purpose innovative wireless sensor network having distributed processing capabilities and, on the other side, to test applications on environmental risk management where heterogeneous networks, composed of nodes having various degree of complexity and capabilities, are made to work under realistic scenarios. More specifically, the project will address applications to small landslide detection, gas leakage detection and large scale temperature field monitoring.


International Partners                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  • Selex Communications
  • DUNE s. r. l. Ingegneria dei sistemi
  • Sapienza Strategies for the Future
  • University of Rome 'La Sapienza' INFOCOM Department
  • École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • CEA-Leti France
  • Czech Center for Science and Society
  • Technical University of Catalonia UPC, Spain
  • INTRACOM S. A. Telecom Solutions
  • ANTRIX Corporation Limited
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)



Key Achievements:

  • World’s first comprehensive Wireless Sensor Network System for Landslide Monitoring and Detection was developed and deployed by Amrita University.
  • The first system has been installed in Munnar, Idukki District, Kerala.
  • This project was successfully completed in 2009, culminating with a fully operational landslide monitoring and detection system that has been operating 24/7 since then.
  • Two landslide warnings have been issued to the residents. Fortunately, the rains subsided soon afterwards and the risk reduced. The residents of homes near to Amrita's system are grateful for the presence of this system in their midst, as it give them a measure of safety and peace of mind which they would not otherwise have.
  • 150 geophysical sensors have been installed. These sensors include pore pressure piezometers, soil moisture sensors, inclinometers, strain gauges, geophones, rainWINSOC - Critical and Emergency Applications gauges and others.
  • The Deep Earth Probes (DEPs) consisting of variety of sub-surface and above-surface sensors that have been installed in boreholes at depths of up to 23 meters underground.
  • A Wireless Probe (WP) is formed from a DEP, a wireless sensor network node, sensor signal conditioning electronics, power supply circuits, solar photovoltaic panels, solar charge controllers, batteries and the physical infrastructure (poles, enclosures, wires, etc..).
  • The data from these DEPs is collected via a local wireless sensor network and transferred to fault-tolerant heterogeneous wireless networks.
  • These networks bring the data in real-time to our Data Analysis Center at Amrita University, where complex analysis is conducted in real-time to determine the risk of landslide.
  • A three- level warning system is used to issue the real-time warnings.
    • The first level of warning is given to Amrita University researchers when the landslide being monitored shows an elevated risk. The second level of warning is given to local officials when the internal hydrology of the landslide, as monitored by the sensors, shows that there is a high likelihood of a landslide occurring if adverse conditions persist. The final level of warning is given to the government if initial slope movement is detected and a landslide is imminent.
  • The system works in conjunction with the landslide laboratory setup at Amrita University, which is used to create small scale landslides under various conditions using the same soil as at the landslide site, in order to determine the thresholds used for the various warning levels.


Research Focus

  • Designing a Multi-Sensor Deep Earth Probe – IWP
  • Designing a Heterogeneous Wireless Network
  • Adaptive Data Acquisition, Aggregation, and Fusion
  • Energy Optimized Triggering Technique in Multiple Level Sensor Network
  • Software Architecture
  • Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Landslide Modeling, and  Visualization
  • Implementation, Field Deployment, and Performance Evaluation
  • Environment
  • Laboratory Experimentation vs. Real World Deployment
  • Bringing diverse Inter-disciplinary fields together: Geotechnical, Computer Science etc.


Team Members:

Project Details
Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh,
Dr. P. Venkat Rangan
Start Date: 
Friday, September 1, 2006


Funding Agency: 
European Commission