ACEA ATO 2: THE SATELLITE-MONITORING OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE HAS BEGUN

ACEA ATO 2: THE SATELLITE-MONITORING OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE HAS BEGUN 

Acea Ato 2, as operator of the integrated water service in the Optimal Territorial Area 2 - Lazio Centrale (112 Municipalities, including Rome) also supervises the aquifers, comprising the springs under “absolute protection” that cover a surface of over 6 million m2 and controls grids and all water plants.

This protection is therefore supposed to ensure the control over a complex infrastructure system in a vast territory and requires intervention on it as well as particular attention to those human activities that can modify it. Therefore, in addition to the traditional in situ monitoring activity, carried out by the personnel, Acea Ato 2 decided to develop a semi-automatic system able to recognise and classify changes via satellite observation.

The project is aimed at granting the utmost rapidity and efficacy to safeguard actions. Research and experimentation in this framework were carried out - between 2010 and 2011 - by Acea Ato 2 in collaboration with the University of Cassino and, at present, involves some areas of particular interest which are periodically monitored, pursuant to the first three-year contract with the University (2012-2014).

Via satellite it is indeed possible to collect images of the territory in different moments and then compare them highlighting all the possible variations which occurred, their entity and type, during that time lapse.

The satellite observation system, thanks to the Information Technology and through complex calculations and spectrometric analysis, can compare images in detail in an extremely detailed way, recording every variation among them and producing a change map that highlights both the elements that have been altered and those which have not.

The software, moreover, can produce a specific report which permits the classification of the detected changes by significance according to the criticality level connected to the type of recorded event.

The analyses performed until now - during the first operation stage, currently undergoing - have remarked the extent to which satellite monitoring can provide an important contribution to “ground” control, permitting the achievement of expected improvement objectives, including a more accurate and fast detection of the criticality and, thus, a more adequate scheduling of the actions to be performed.

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