Dynamic Mapping and Sampling for High-Resolution Hydrology


River basins around the world are facing rapid large-scale environmental changes brought about by natural
forces that have been unleashed by climate change; historical forces driven by social, political and
demographic changes; and global transitions triggered by new technologies. The impact of these changes is
felt most in the water sector in poor management of irrigation networks, depleting groundwater, deterioration
in water quality, poor sanitation and difficulties in preservation of eco-systems. In parallel, there have been
astonishing developments in ICT related technologies including robotics, sensor networks and machine that
hold great promise in enabling the monitoring, modelling and forecasting of water, agriculture and
environmental systems.
Under these general frameworks of hydro-informatics and precision agriculture, we propose to tackle some
outstanding challenges related to monitoring of surface water resources in the Indus basin using robotics
technologies. The difficulties in collection of water samples from remote or inaccessible locations, the
challenges in continued structural monitoring of natural and engineered resources and the need to incorporate
high-resolution sensor data into hydrodynamic models has prompted us to propose robotic sensing solutions.
Building on our resident expertise in water resources and experience of developing aerial and ground based
robotic platforms, we propose to develop and deploy semi-autonomous sensor floats that will produce surveys
of water channels using standard techniques of simultaneous mapping and localization. We also propose to
enhance the capability of aerial and floating robots for water sample collection. For this, the aerial robots
(available from previous work) will be equipped for accurate positioning and water suction capability. We
therefore take our first steps towards aerial manipulation capability. In the final phase of our work, we will set
up a framework to incorporate the robotic surveys into hydrodynamic models to increase the temporal and
spatial resolution of existing surface hydrology models.
The project is built on six fruitful years of collaboration between the Pakistani and German partners, expertise
in robotics and cyber physical systems technologies on both sides and the rich multi-disciplinary experience of
the Pakistani partner in applying ICT solutions to water and agriculture problems in the local context.


  • LUMS – Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

Gefördert durch

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)