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Internet of Things (IoT) Technology Trial – Smart Cities

Internet of Things (IoT) Technology Trial – Smart Cities

Mildura, Buloke, Gannawarra and Swan Hill Councils have joined forces to trial Internet of Things (IoT) technology to inform decision-making, reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies.

The trial is a component of the 12-month Smart Cities project, which runs until June 2022.

The trial will see a network of various physical objects embedded with sensors that capture data about how different assets and sites are used. This valuable information will help participating councils provide community services and better plan for growth.

What is Smart Cities?

A Smart City refers to the use of digital technology to collect data that can be used to manage assets and resources efficiently.

Smart Cities can help create more liveable cities without compromising the well-being of their citizens. Smart Cities are innovative in their use of digital solutions, they are used to manage services and infrastructure effectively, improve the wellbeing of the community and the environment, and to create a vibrant local economy.

What is being trialled by Swan Hill Rural City Council?

Airplanes – Smart Movement Sensors

Smart counting sensors will be installed at the unmaned Swan Hill and Robinvale aerodromes.  The data collected from these sensors will be used to gather statistics and form a better understanding of the usage at each airport.

Three-dimensional imagery, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) obtained and used by the sensors will provide real-time data and insights to inform service managers and enable future asset planning.

Environmental Management Sensors – Weather Stations

There are three weather stations being trialed, they are located on the Robinvale Community Centre, Manangatang Community Centre and the Swan Hill Council Depot.  Each station will gather information on rain, temperature, solar radiation, humidity and wind direction and gusts.

These weather stations will provide data to gain a better understanding of the micro weather patterns from Robinvale to Swan Hill. Real-time data and insights collected from the sensors will be used to inform service managers for improved asset utilisation within the area.

Environmental Management Sensors – Soil Moisture

The soil moisture sensors will be located at Swan Hill Showgrounds and Robinvale Oval and will provide data on the soil moisture and soil temperature.

The smart sensing sensors will be used to provide a better understanding of the soil moisture on the two recreation ovals with the final goal being the automation of the irrigation systems.  Real-time data and insights collected from the sensors will be used to inform water management.

IoT (Internet of Things) LoRaWAN Network

Two LoRaWAN networks will be installed – one at the Robinvale Community Centre and Swan Hill Council Depot. The newly installed networks will provide connection for the township sensors and access for the community to the network.

Benefits of the IoT network
Uses less energy than a lightbulb (<80 watts)
Data security measures including encryption, firewall and VPN
Service efficiencies for economic sustainability
Low impact transmitting 10-40x less power than a standard WiFi router
Enable data informed insights for better use of resources
Future proofs with smart infrastructure

Frequently ask questions

Do the sensors capture personal information?

Do the sensors capture personal information?

No identifiable data is being captured for this project.

Why does the Council want to monitor asset utilisation of public assets and spaces?

Why does the Council want to monitor asset utilisation of public assets and spaces?

The information obtained from high quality continuous utilisation monitoring is extremely useful for the Council and other organisations. The data will only capture and present volume of utilisation (count the number of entities) in an area and can be used to

  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of ongoing and major events in the community
  • Provides data for service reviews and asset scheduling/maintenance
  • Informs planning and implementation activities or proposals
  • Understand the changes in activity in relation to cyclic and ad-hoc events

How is the data managed?

How is the data managed?

The system comprises of sensors to detect movement which counts the number of entities in the space then compiles the count and sends it every hour to the gateway. The gateway uses a public access network to transmit the collected data to the software for data analysis, reporting and visualisation.

Will the public data be made available to the community?

Will the public data be made available to the community?

Yes – the intention of the project is all public data will be available to the community and other organisations as the data is non identifiable information.

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