Automatic multi-purpose dam deformation monitoring system

Automatic multi-purpose dam deformation monitoring system

Automatic multi-purpose dam deformation monitoring system

The Republic of Korea is creating an infrastructure maintenance information network with the aim of creating a ubiquitous society known as “u-Korea.” As part of the initiative, the Korea Water Resources Corporation (KOWACO) has implemented a dam deformation monitoring system.

A Topcon Positioning Group distributor provided the KOWACO with an automatic, multi-purpose deformation monitoring system using a high-accuracy robotic total station as the core sensor.  Installed at 13 of Korea’s multi-purpose dams, this highly anticipated system is designed to effectively manage safety and dam operations in addition to fulfilling other vital roles.

KOWACO is a public organization based in Daejeon with approximately 4,000 employees. It manages and operates 14 multi-purpose dams throughout the country and, in addition to water control operations to prevent flooding, it performs tasks such as providing water and sewage utilities, and managing service water.

Daejeon is a major Korean city with a surrounding population of 1.5 million people. Nearby are the Yuseong hot springs which have been known as a getaway since the Baekje period (18 BC – AD 660). Daejeon is also widely known as a scientific city as it is host to the Daedeok Science Town, known locally as Korea’s “Silicon Valley.”

Monitoring control

The monitoring instrument has an IP64 environmental protection rating indicating extreme reliability under adverse environmental conditions.  The rating is maintained even with the cables attached — a first in the industry.  Distance and angle measurements met the high-accuracy demands of KOWACO.

The robotic total station has the ability to automatically measure prisms located on the dam structure and surrounding slopes to monitor deformation in real time. The robotic total station is housed in a climate-controlled observation room to provide additional environmental and physical protection.

Monitoring control and data processing are performed remotely from the dam control office according to a predetermined schedule. The acquired data is compared to reference date data, and graphical displays are immediately available.

By implementing a multi-purpose dam automatic-deformation monitoring system, operations that were previously done by hand are now automated. Fully automatic prism sighting, data collection and storage ensure data reliability by eliminating human error.  Another major benefit of this system is the instantaneous availability of data, allowing it to be used more effectively.

The goal of u-Korea is a society that joins the physical space in which we live with the knowledge of information space introduced by the digital revolution. All levels of government are computerizing and networking with the aim of a ubiquitous society focused on construction of infrastructure and technological advancement.

The automation of multi-purpose dam deformation monitoring by KOWACO is a major step toward this goal. The multi-purpose dam automatic deformation monitoring system was delivered without a hitch. 

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