The Environment Agency (EA) has awarded a multi-year contract worth up to £2m to Meteor Communications for the supply of up to 800 remote camera systems.
The cameras will build on an existing network of more than 450 Meteor cameras that have been installed across the country over the last four years, monitoring critical flood infrastructure including grilles, screens, channels, culverts and automated remote structures.
The new cameras are a valuable addition to the EA’s network of flood defences which better protect thousands of homes and businesses from flooding all year round.
Under the contract Meteor will supply the robust, low power, real-time MRC camera systems in addition to associated services, including secure hosting and web portal access. The cameras employ 3G/GPRS communications to provide continuous access to high-quality images of important infrastructure via a secure web portal, with data integrated into the EA’s existing systems.
Meteor manging director Matt Dibbs said: “This award enables a strategic change in the management of remote infrastructure. Instead of conducting routine site visits, operational staff can be guided to the locations most in need. This lowers costs and carbon footprint, and improves the speed of response, which is of course critically important for flood infrastructure.
The cameras employ 3G/GPRS communications to provide continuous access to high-quality images
Gordon Wilson, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Solent and South Downs, said: “The Environment Agency manages and maintains around 1,000 km of coastal defences, 7,000 km of flood defences and 17,000 structures. These remote cameras can help our operational staff to spot and resolve any issues quickly to help us better protect homes and businesses from flooding.”
The EA’s cameras provide early warning of blocked trash screens, and monitor other flood defence features such as storm drains and pumping stations. Flood and coastal risk management officers can monitor the cameras using any web enabled device using Meteor’s secure web portal, or via the EA’s own systems.
The Meteor Data Centre web portal allows images to be viewed in real-time, along with historic images, slideshows and galleries for ease of analysis.
Camera deployment can be adapted to suit the site and the application, and four versions of the camera are available to cover almost every requirement.
Once deployed, the cameras typically 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 provides users with access to more frequent images during periods of high water flow or level.