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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information

Professor Steven Glaser of the University of California at Berkeley is visiting Cambridge on the 30th of October. He specialises in Rock mechanics, but is also well known in the area of wireless sensor networks. Prof Glaser's guest seminar for CSIC will be 'Wireless in the Woods'.

Approximately 2/3 of California’s water comes from snow in the Sierra Nevada.  With better management, California’s existing water supply could go further to meeting the needs of the state’s urban and agricultural uses.  Currently, California’s water reservoirs are controlled and regulated using forecasts based upon more than 75 years of historical data.  In the face of global climate change, these forecasts are becoming increasingly inadequate to precisely manage water resources.  An intelligent water infrastructure system is being implemented that leverages the newest frontiers of information technology.

The system is based on blending real-time ground based measurements and satellite and LiDAR remote imaging.  The world’s largest wireless sensor network has been implemented, covering the upper reaches of the 4500 km2 American River Basin.  There are almost 15 subnetworks, each covering approximately 2 km2 area, with 10-15 sensor stations and 35 sensing relay stations.  Snow depth, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, soil moisture and temperature, and matric suction are all measured.  Real-time data can be seen at  This real-time data will be used by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Placer County Water Agency to optimize their hydro-electric operations.

Prof Glaser will present the background of wireless sensor networks, their unique hardware, new machine learning methods to pick representative sites and locate sensors, and representative data.



Thursday, 30 October, 2014 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event location: 
Department of Engineering, Cambridge