EA Flood Defence Camera Network
The Environment Agency have over 1500 Meteor MCE-MRC cameras currently operational across the UK, providing real time, high quality images from remote locations.
Key project features are:
- Proven operational ability and effectiveness during live events
- Open, low maintenance camera design and access protocols for enhanced lifecycle and low operational costs
- Standalone, parallel or fully integrated hosted application options
- Enhanced Polling modes and automatic image posting to Twitter and other social media
The primary purpose of the cameras is to provide early warning of blocked trash screens and monitor other flood defence features such as storm drains and pumping stations. Flood defence officers can monitor the cameras using any web enabled device, or via the Agency’s own systems. This enables proactive visits to screens and faster response in the event of flood conditions.
The cameras in conjunction with the Meteor Data Centre web portal provide a powerful tool for image capture, display and evaluation of remote infrastructure. The web portal allows images to be viewed in real time, along with historic images, slideshows and galleries for ease of analysis. Images can be requested directly from the portal, along with setup for advanced features such as the Enhanced Polling (EP) mode.
The system also enables significant savings in terms of carbon reduction and efficient use of available manpower. Regular site visits can be kept to a minimum as the cameras allow operators to schedule visits only to sites which require attention.
Please see below for some example site deployments and images:
The camera offers a variety of flexible deployment options. Most commonly the robust pillar system is used, which allows rapid installation at any site. Built from marine grade 316 stainless steel it contains a power pack, IR illuminator for night shots, secure mounting brackets and a small solar panel for autonomous use all year round. As a standalone unit the camera can be installed directly on sites with existing power systems and mounting points, giving a very cost effective enhancement to existing site telemetry.
Once deployed the cameras usually automatically acquire and send an image every 60 minutes. Additional images can be requested at any time, via the website or directly by SMS or email. The cameras also offer an Enhanced Polling (EP) mode, which places the camera into a fast acquisition mode for a set period of time. This can be activated by:
- Using the web portal drop down menus
- Automatically with a level sensor (ie ultrasonic or float switch)
- Sending a command via email or SMS
This enables the user to automatically have access to more frequent images during periods of high water flow or level, raising the amount of visibility of site conditions with greater granularity if images at the most critical times.
Alert emails are also sent when level sensors go into alarm, with an attached image, giving users instant warning and visual confirmation.
In some applications the cameras directly interface to the Agency’s legacy systems (such as SETEL and SWANTEL) and also feed images direct to public access websites, data archives and social media feeds such as twitter.
The cameras have been proven in service over the past three years and now form an integral part of the flood defence infrastructure of the Environment Agency.