Real-Time Early Detection and Monitoring of Flooding using Low-Cost Highly Sensitivity Ultrasonic Sensing of Water Level

Flooding poses safety hazards to motorists, emergency and maintenance crews and may cause costly damage to transportation infrastructure and its operation. Water level detection units are commonly designed for riverine flooding rather than flash flooding. Moreover, installation and maintenance of traditional water level sensing systems are expensive. The current cutting-edge water level detection techniques, on the other hand, have significant limitations: noise and erroneous signals from sensors, unstable power management, and slow data transmitting. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) may also be used to sense flash floods in real time. The UAVs, however, have their limitations in that they only provide snap shots of flood information in the short period time they operate. As a promising solution, this study will evaluate a low-cost real-time ultrasound water-level measuring unit at critical corridors in Region 6, to develop integrated-sensing of the low-cost, highly sensitive ultrasonic water level detection (UWLD) unit to increase its reliability and resolution and to integrate it with a highly efficient solar power system and a reliable cellular network. The flood stage information will be transmitted using a cellular module in the UWLD unit to the Region 6 Flood Control District or sent directly to emergency command centers for early warning so that they may take timely action such as citizen/driver evacuation, route/ramp closures, and signal timing modification.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $115999
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Melson, Christopher

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ham, Suyun

    Seo, Dong-Jun

    Noh, Seongjin

  • Start Date: 20190815
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210215
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713581
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2019 7:54AM