Tag Archives: zigbee

Controlling shipping traffic in the Dutch canals with wireless sensors


In t the Netherlands there are many waterways, small inland harbors and canals that are used by citizens in their daily routines. Each city has a water infrastructure with high-density shipping traffic. For municipalities, provinces and other potential canal authorities such us Ministry of Infraestructure, it is essential to provide a system able to control the amount of boats that sails in an area an also automate the opening and closing systems of the bridges.


Vicrea is a dutch company specialized in Smart Integrated Information and Geographic Systems and Smart City solutions. The company has developed a wireless sensor network with Libelium technology to manage canals traffic in the Netherlands by controlling the flow of boats.

Innovative laser solution to detect ships

This solution arises with the objective to know the amount of ships that sails in the canals and also their direction to plan the water infrastructure. It has been already deployed in some of the most touristic and well-known cities from the Netherlands: Delft, The Hague, Leiden, Alphen aan den Rijn and Gouda.

There is a wide range of boats that sails on the canals: cargoboats, commercial passenger ships and recreational ones. Although it was known by public authorities and citizens that in specific times there was heavy traffic, there was not any knowledge and neither control to solve this problem. “Libelium helped us in an innovative and professional way to help our project to become a success”, affirms Erkan Efek, Business consultant & Architect GIS of Vicrea.

Vicrea deployment in a canal

Vicrea and Libelium have worked in developing a new and innovative laser solution that is able to monitor direction, distance and speed. This sensor allows to detect any ship that is crossing by a concrete point and also to know the direction towards the ship is sailing.

Vicrea deployment functioning diagram

Vicrea deployment functioning diagram

The shipping traffic data monitored by the sensors added to Waspmote Sensor Platformsis sent out through Zigbee to Meshlium. 868 Mhz wireless technology is used to connect the gateway with Vicrea Cloud Platform based on Microsoft Azure SQL Database. From there, data can be further distributed to a live monitor or can be stored for later analysis and prediction.


The solution developed between Libelium and Vicrea will help public institutions to manage the water infrastructure and also control other issues. With this deployment, there will be possible to know if the maintenance level of canals is at par with traffic density in a canal. Bridge opening and closing will be automated to improve cars and ships experiences and also to reduce waiting times. The platform will control if a boat is entering in a private or prohibit area.

This monitoring system will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to give public authorities a holistic view about what is happening in their water infrastructures. Erkan Efek, Business consultant & Architect GIS of Vicrea, has highlighted that “the solution incorporates cost-effective elements and eco-friendly parts. We use solar panels for our power supply and send data wirelessly”.

Vicrea platform to monitor shipping traffic

Vicrea platform to monitor shipping traffic

Sensors can be placed anywhere so each government can choose depending on the needs and the urban planning of each city. Knowing in real-time information about traffic congestion or predicting maintenance for bridges are just some of the improvements that councils can apply in their strategies for water infrastructures management.

The deployment has reached the goals that the companies settled since the beginning. Data related with passing ships and also frequency will be monitored with high accuracy, costs will be drastically reduced, about 80.000 euros each year per bridge, and the system will be working with no interruption.

Source: Libelium

South Coast Street Lighting PFI connects with Wireless Logic

  • £225million initiative largest in UK
  • New lighting management system to dramatically reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • System employing M2M connectivity to give secure, remote and centralised monitoring and control

As the biggest street lighting project in the UK rolls out to replace and maintain 250,000 streetlights across Hampshire, West Sussex and Southampton, the £225 million 25-year ‘South Coast Street Lighting’ private finance initiative (PFI) is utilising the latest in smart lighting control, which is connected across the internet via the mobile network. Connectivity for the project is being delivered by Europe’s leading independent aggregator, Wireless Logic (http://www.wirelesslogic.com).

With the whole implementation carried out by SSE Contracting (http://www.ssecontracting.co.uk), part of Scottish and Southern Energy Group, the partnership involves Hampshire County Council, West Sussex County Council and Southampton City Council. Work has already started to replace and maintain over 250,000 street lights, illuminated signs and bollards, with 150,000 street lights in Hampshire alone. The benefits of the massive PFI project include:

  • investment in the most up to date, energy efficient equipment
  • more efficient use of energy – with a potential reduction in current levels
  • improved visibility and reduced light pollution at night
  • safer streets and reduced crime
  • fewer burning hours and dimming lights by 25% to reduce carbon emissions, with the ability to dim further.


Behind control of the monitoring and control system is the Mayflower Complete Lighting Control System (http://www.mayflowercontrol.com), a revolutionary client-based highway lighting management system. Designed and built specifically to maximise efficiency and provide day-to-day management with regard to financial and on-site performance, the system utilises a ‘Zigbee Mesh’ local radio network with ‘nodes’ on each lighting unit which connect wirelessly to a sub master control. Each one of the sub masters communicates with up to 500 nodes, with the sub master in turn connected to the client central server across the mobile network. Mayflower enables remote management of the entire lighting both in real-time and to preset conditions. The central server reports on energy usage, failed units, and can control the light level element (brightening/dimming) of light clusters in defined areas, entirely remotely.

Key to the entire operation is the requirement to have secure and reliable mobile connectivity.

The mobile solution behind Mayflower Complete Lighting Control is powered by Wireless Logic’s ManageNET platform, a fully managed connectivity service which addresses connectivity, security, managed firewall and M-VPN’s. With connectivity available across a number of networks dependent upon strength of signal, Mayflower has taken full advantage of Wireless Logic’s ‘oneAPN’, a common access point name regardless of mobile network used. With the sub master device pre-programmed with one APN, the installer can simply select and place the optimal network SIM according to its geographical location whilst on site, with no further programming required in the field.

The Mayflower system also utilises the SIMpro provisioning platform from Wireless Logic. With an installation programme that spans the next four years, the concept of hundreds of ‘live’ SIMs awaiting final commissioning was not an economical solution. By employing SIMpro, engineers can remotely provision each SIM as and when installed, whilst also benefiting from a range of data usage monitoring tools.

Gary Kirkland, Mayflower Technical and Software Manager, comments: “As the largest streetlighting PFI across the UK, it has been essential to identify partners who are able to respond to a continually demanding supply situation. M2M connectivity is critical to the success of the project, and we’ve worked hard to select a single source provider regardless of network used. Wireless Logic are fulfilling a number of pre-determined criteria and with year one coming to a conclusion, we are pleased with the functionality of their platforms and the Service Level Agreement which has been adhered to.”

Jon-Paul Clarke, Business Development Manager for Wireless Logic comments: “The Mayflower system demonstrates how energy saving technology can work hand in hand with low-cost and secure mobile M2M connectivity, and deliver massive reduction to both the public purse and the UK’s carbon footprint. We are working closely with the team at Mayflower Complete Lighting Control to take advantage of Wireless Logic’s bespoke connectivity solutions; oneAPN, SIMpro and ManageNET have all been successfully deployed to give SSE a seamless, efficient solution to their connectivity requirements.”

Mayflower Complete Lighting Control are working on a number of streetlighting contracts outside of the South Coast PFI including Nottingham and Knowsley. Philip Cole, Wireless Logic’s Sales and Marketing Director concludes: “Partnering with Mayflower CLC is delivering energy saving M2M connectivity to street corners across the UK. As their implementation programmes continue, the one-stop solution from Wireless Logic will come into its own. With a singular platform with granular billing to each of Mayflower CLC’s, an ‘off the shelf’ private network, and unilateral accessibility via our oneAPN solution, Mayflower CLC and its customers have realised the benefit of selecting a focused aggregator solution through a single source supply.”

Source: Wireless Logic