Each year Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, takes a journey up the Chao Phraya River to get a better understanding of the well-being of the Thai people and to get a first-hand look at the river and the massive agricultural fields it feeds. At 84, he is unable to take this trip, but still wished to monitor rising water levels during the monsoon season in order to provide the Thai people with an early flood warning system and to keep a close eye on the health of the agricultural crops along the river.
To acknowledge the king’s birthday wishes to protect the country’s citizens and agricultural crops during the annual monsoon floods, the Thailand government decided to deploy a video and data network that enables citizens, security, and agricultural officials to monitor the flood-prone Chao Phraya River basin. After a full year of extensively testing different ADSL, satellite, GSM/3G and wireless technologies for this massive video and data network, the Thailand Royal Irrigation Department deployed a high-bandwidth wireless network from Firetide Inc., Los Gatos, Calif., to provide live HD video feeds and mission-critical water level data applications.
The current Firetide wireless network consists of 64 Firetide HotPort 7020 wireless mesh nodes and 27 Panasonic PTZ WV-SW395E cameras. The actual combined length of all links, including redundant links, deployed totals 550 km or 341 miles, making the Firetide network the world’s largest and longest wireless mesh network, according to the company.
“The cost of deploying this huge public safety network over this distance would not have been feasible using traditional wired or fiber technology,” said Chachawal Punyavateenun, project creator and deputy director general of Thailand Royal Irrigation. “Point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless technologies were tested but were not able to overcome the technical requirements of this challenging network.”
Thailand’s Royal Irrigation Department completed its phase three deployment of the world’s first mesh network capable of delivering live HD wireless video feeds of river water levels and telemetry data for real-time flood forecasting and historical data collection. In addition to the live HD video feeds to the control room, live VGA resolution video feeds are provided to the public via the Internet.
Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh network provides the people of Thailand with an advance flood warning system to mitigate property damage and saves lives. During the 2011 monsoon season, Thailand’s Chao Phraya River basin experienced the worst flooding in more than half a century. During the flooding, the network captured live video of rising water levels, which was accessible via a Web feed.
Besides video, the Firetide wireless network supports a supervisory control and data acquisition system that communicates and monitors the functionality and physical status of large water gates and dams that influence the amount of water released downstream. The system also collects and monitors river water levels continuously and records the data for real-time analysis, giving authorities the information needed to make immediate mission-critical decisions and capture data to plan for future floods.
Embes Technology, a Firetide premier-level system integration partner, was selected to design and deploy the network. Embes played a key role and was responsible for detailed site surveys, tower design and equipment installation. Embes began deploying the network in 2010 and recently completed phase three.
“After thorough testing and planning we found the reliability, performance and value of the Firetide wireless solution to be a perfect fit for current and future growth of Thailand’s early flood warning system,” said Dr. Nat Marjang, project manager and faculty of engineering, Kasetsart University.
To view real-time video of the river levels transmitted over Firetide’s wireless mesh network, visit http://188.8.131.52/.