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Katherine Anarde

Asst Professor

Fitts-Woolard Hall 3250


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Date: 10/01/20 - 11/30/22
Amount: $1,100.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Sea Grant Program

Hurricanes, with their strong wind, large waves, and storm surge, can profoundly reshape coastal landforms and damage near-coast structures. Mutual resilience of coastal communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to future storm impacts requires a clear understanding of the hydrodynamic forces impacting coastal systems during storms and accurate representation of these processes in numerical models. Previous efforts to collect coastal data during storm impact have relied on the “deploy and retrieve” model wherein successful data acquisition hinges on post-storm retrieval of data loggers. Inevitably under this paradigm, instrument damage and loss has resulted in sparse data sets with limited spatial and temporal resolution. Recent technological advancements in wireless monitoring and distributed sensor networks have the potential to catalyze a shift away from the “deploy and retrieve” framework toward “real-time monitoring” of storm impacts. Leveraging this potential, we propose to design and test a new low-cost wireless pressure sensor network for real-time measurement of waves and water levels during hurricane impact. The distributed wireless network will consist of multiple pressure sensor “nodes” that transmit data via short-range radio to a central “gateway”, and thereafter to the cloud via a cellular modem. While the sensor in the proposed project records pressure, distributed wireless networks are inherently modular and future work will add utility to the instrument array by incorporating additional sensors (e.g., accelerometers). The proposed project will utilize existing infrastructure and expertise for laboratory (flume) and field-based testing of the prototype sensor network at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington (Dr. Mieras) and North Carolina State University (Dr. Anarde), as well cultivate new research collaborations among institutions and with a North Carolina-based startup, Agrinik Technologies, LLC. Once optimized, the new distributed wireless network will be used to address a myriad of data and knowledge gaps related to storm processes, including infrastructure fragility, feedbacks between structures and flow routing, and wave transformation during island overwash.

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