• Sensors like those the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Intellisense Systems are developing can help give residents ample notice to evacuate before water levels such as those experienced on the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, earlier this year. Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA
     Sensors like those the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Intellisense Systems are developing can help give residents ample notice to evacuate before water levels such as those experienced on the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, earlier this year. Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA
  • Pfc. Andy Munoz, USMC, and Lance Cpl. Torrio Mays, USMC, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, filled sandbags in effort to create a retaining wall in Twentynine Palms, California, to redirect the flow of water and prevent it from encircling a home in the event of a flash flood in July. Photo by Cpl. Carley Vedro, USMC
     Pfc. Andy Munoz, USMC, and Lance Cpl. Torrio Mays, USMC, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, filled sandbags in effort to create a retaining wall in Twentynine Palms, California, to redirect the flow of water and prevent it from encircling a home in the event of a flash flood in July. Photo by Cpl. Carley Vedro, USMC
  • At its first Pitch Day, the U.S. Air Force awarded a multimillion dollar contract to Intellisense Systems Inc. for production of the Micro Weather Sensor, a remote, unattended, fully operational weather sensor originally developed for the U.S. Special Operations Command. Photo by Tim Chavez
     At its first Pitch Day, the U.S. Air Force awarded a multimillion dollar contract to Intellisense Systems Inc. for production of the Micro Weather Sensor, a remote, unattended, fully operational weather sensor originally developed for the U.S. Special Operations Command. Photo by Tim Chavez

Sensors Signal Flooding Dangers

August 27, 2019
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Company funded to enter next phase of detection technology.


Deployable flood inundation sensors based on the Internet of Things are being developed to monitor flood-prone areas in real time to rapidly detect them and alert officials, industry and citizens to potential threats. State and local government jurisdictions operationally field tested early versions of the technology over a nine-month period. During the next phase, the sensors will be enhanced for production and commercialization to both domestic and international partners to help densify their flood sensing networks for alerts, warnings and notifications.

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $3.2 million to Intellisense Systems Inc. for third-phase work on the sensors as part of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This project focuses on designing, developing and testing a network of inexpensive inundation sensors that can be part of a scalable wireless mesh network that rapidly measures rising water and reports flood conditions to operations centers, first responders and citizens.

DHS S&T previously funded three phase-two awards that were completed in July 2019. Under those awards, organizations received up to $1 million each to develop prototypes based on the feasibility of their flood monitoring technologies demonstrated in their phase one efforts in 2016.

“I fully expect the Intellisense flood sensors to be a disruptive technology,” DHS Jeff Booth, S&T program manager, says. “The accuracy, performance and dependability of the sensors and their projected cost points will provide federal, state and local governments—as well as industry sectors like critical infrastructure—a capability to help protect life and property, making communities more resilient from flooding events.”

Earlier this year, Intellisense Systems received two contracts through the U.S. Air Force Pitch Day program. In March, the company was one of 20 companies to receive to funding at the service’s first Pitch Day. Earlier this month, Intellisense received another Air Force contract for its Aerial Environment Sensor (AES), a technology with applications for a low-cost-light-weight flying weather sensor.

Additional information about the flood inundation phase three award is available via email.

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