The management of flood defence networks is being revolutionised through a combination of MRC remote cameras and AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems developed by Meteor Communications. This new advanced technology is already providing Water Utilities, UK Government Agencies and Local Authorities with early warning of issues within their networks, enabling targeted, appropriate responses to events as they emerge.
With 1000’s of cameras in service monitoring a wide variety of network assets such as trash screens, CSO’s, overspill channels and EDM monitors, Meteor already has operational networks of cameras providing robust, reliable, real-time image feeds from remote assets. Stakeholders such as control rooms, operators and flood defence teams utilise the MeteorCloud® secure web portal to view images, remotely request new images and receive alerts for potential issues.
Over the past 3 years Meteor has been leveraging the MRC camera and Meteor Data Cloud capabilities to develop Deep Learning Neural Network technologies to identify network issues, caused by issues such as blockages, high water levels or other unforeseen factors. Taking the example of trash screens, Meteor AI has been site tested in all seasons, and found to be over 94% effective at identifying potential screen blockages and issuing automated alerts. This enhanced capability will allow users such as the Environment Agency to target resources to sites with potential issues at an early stage, and thereby enable operational efficiencies. The severity of flood events will also be reduced because users will be able to proactively respond to issues more quickly, rather than to flood events caused by blockages in drain networks.
During storm Ciarán in November 2023, the Meteor Data Centre (MDC) processed over 500,000 real-time images over a 3-day period with peak MeteorCloud user sessions of nearly 5x usual levels. This presented an excellent real life test of the type of events for which the MDC was designed, and proved the robust, scalable nature of the platform.
With the effects of climate change and more adverse weather conditions Meteor Communications is developing the technologies required to effectively monitor and react to situations as they arise. This enables efficient use of resources and saves carbon through a reduction of unnecessary site visits.