Thursday, November 8, 2012

No. 641: Monitoring the water level of a river using laser (November 8, 2012)

Mitsubishi Electric Engineering, a group company of Mitsubishi Electric, developed a system to detect an increase of the water level of a river in real time by irradiating laser over a wide range and analyzing the reflection it gets from the watch item. Because laser can detect slight variations, the system can analyze the place that is dim due to plume and dense fog. The company plans to commercialize the system in two years.

Called “Field Viewer,” the system is made up of laser irradiation equipment and cameras. It irradiates about 8,500 lasers to the watch item and analyzes the reflection data. It is rather hard to predict a flood from a river by a water level indicator or visual observation in the case of a thick haze and a short-lasting heavy rain like guerrilla rainstorm. The new system, however, can detect even a subtle change of water level instantaneously, and the picture image of an increase of the water level can be displayed on the monitor of the PC of the superintendent.

The laser have an effective range of up to 250 m. Based on the analysis of reflection, the system can measure the distance between the irradiation point and the watch item within a measurement error of less than 10 cm. Detailed standards will be decided in the near future for the commercialization of the system. 

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