RiverCore: IoT device for river water level monitoring over cellular communications

Flooding is one of the most frequent and costly natural disasters affecting mankind. However, implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor river behavior may help mitigate or prevent future disasters. This article outlines the hardware development of an IoT system (RiverCore) and defines an application scenario in a specific hydrological region of the state of Colima (Mexico), highlighting the characteristics of data acquisition and data processing used. Both fixed position and moving drifter node systems are described along with web-based data acquisition platform developments integrated with IoT techniques to retrieve data through 3G cellular networks. The developed architecture uses the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol, along with encryption and security mechanisms, to send real-time data packages from fixed nodes to a server that stores retrieved data in a non-relational database. From this, data can be accessed and displayed through different customizable queries and graphical representations, allowing future use in flood analysis and prediction systems. All of these features are presented along with graphical evidence of the deployment of the different devices and of several cellular communication and on-site data acquisition tests.