By Carmel Hayes
A SMART sensor project is underway in Abbeyleix to measure traffic, air quality and weather patterns.
The heritage town is one of only six pilot locations around Europe where traffic sensors are being installed, providing invaluable data for future mobility projects.
After two years in the planning, smart sensors have already been deployed on Main Street and the Ballinakill Road. Now the Abbeyleix Tidy Towns committee is looking for properties with unobstructed views on all other approach roads to the town, so that more smart sensors can be installed.
The sensors, placed in upstairs windows, are non-invasive and will give vital data for future developments in the town and elsewhere.
Abbeyleix has also signed up for real-time air quality monitoring, through a sensor that is measuring air particulates using a home-made sensor. The information gathered is shared globally on https://sensor.community/en/.
Real-time weather monitoring is underway at a smart weather station in Knocknamoe House, which is measuring temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, air pressure and UK index. At present, the Abbeyleix station is running only on a solar panel, so it collects data only during daylight hours.
People can check the kind of data generated from the sensor in Knocknamoe House at https://www.telraam.net/en/location/9000001472.
Meanwhile, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns has teamed up with the UCD ‘WeCOunt Project’, Makeport Makerspace in Portarlington and TOG Makerspace in Dublin to measure traffic, based on Internet Of THings (IOT) technology.
WeCount aims to ‘empower citizens to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence and knowledge around mobility’ in their own neighbourhoods at street level.
The project will follow ‘participatory citizen science methods’ in co-creating and using innovative low-cost, automated, Telraam road traffic counting sensors in the six pilot locations of Madrid, Ljubljana, Dublin, Cardiff, Leuven and Abbeyleix.
The Telraam sensors will count pedestrians, cyclists, cars and freight/heavy vehicles by using images taken by the device camera. Analysis is done by a small computer, based on the size and speed of passing objects.
Anyone interested in getting involved can email [email protected]. More information is available at https://www.abbeyleixtidytowns.net/smart-sensor-project.