Automated monitoring systems have become an important part of many dam maintenance programs within Australia, and usually consist of sensors, dataloggers, and telemetry equipment that work together to measure critical parameters and provide data logging, reporting, control, and alarms.
Data can be logged over time to provide information regarding the effects of aging, earthquakes, erosion, storm events, and other variables on the overall health of the dam, and alarms and callouts can be programmed to warn engineers of potential failures. Most importantly however, these automated montitoring systems provide around the clock monitoring and allow detection of many changes that could otherwise go unnoticed.
Common causes of dam failure include overtopping, foundation problems, structural problems, and piping (internal erosion due to seepage). With an effective monitoring program, these causes can be detected early and repaired or mitigated.
Due to the number of factors involved however (hydrological, geotechnical, structural, and power related), a wide variety of measurements are required for dams, covering cover everything from the structure of the dam, to the dam’s foundation, to the water in the reservoir. This is why automated monitoring systems are so crucial.
Over the years, Campbell Scientific 's automated monitoring systems have provided reliable solutions for all types of dams - both embankment and concrete, and both new and existing.
Campbell Scientific's automated monitoring systems are flexible enough to measure the wide variety of sensors used in dam monitoring applications. Their low power requirements and rugged design allow them to operate unattended for long periods of time, even in harsh environments. Telemetry options provide real-time data and alarms to assist in remote management.
Campbell Scientific has also released a number of products in recent years that facilitate dam monitoring, for example, the AVW200 - a measurement interface that eliminates external electromagnetic noise that plagues vibrating-wire measurements, the CS450 - a submersible pressure transducer that provides measurement accuracy to 0.05%, and the new RF450 - radios that provide long-distance transmission ranges without the need for an FCC license.