Mount Antelao and Rudan torrent, in the Dolomites, under special surveillance

High precision sensors and monitoring systems by Siap+Micros spa chosen for a proactiv project of Civil Protection

On the 5th of May commissioning of a new automatic monitoring system for Rudan creeck has been successfully accomplished. Rudan creeck is a tributary of Boite torrent, in the municipality of Vodo di Cadore, 20 km downstream from Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the earth of the Dolomites. The management of the system, designed and implemented by Siap+Micros, has been handed over to the local administrators. The system can automatically alert the mayor and the citizens of the small village of Peaio di Cadore, in case in Rudan creeck a debris flow should originate. From time to time a debris flow can occur at high altitude on mount Antelao and along the slope it can reach a speed of about 30 km/h, becoming a serious threat for people and things when reaching Peaio. [In the image the consequences of the 08/06/2018 flow , the excavator driver had fortunately managed to escape].

The Rudan torrent has been known for centuries for its danger, the toponym itself means “damage torrent”. Since the fourteenth century there have been reports of periodic damage to buildings and also of several victims. In recent times, in 1999, the large boulders carried by a debris flow almost completely obstructed the “Alemagna” highway bridge, endangering its viability and flooding the waters that damaged several houses.

The system consists of a detection station located at high altitude (2,140 m) t the mouth of the Vallon dell’Antelao, where a pair of rain gauges, model TP1KUW, constantly monitor the amount of rainfall. If the amount of rain exceeds a threshold, such as to represent a possible trigger of debris movement at the very top of the gully, DA18K data logger, the technological heart of each station, sends a pre-alarm directly to the mayor of Vodo and to available representatives, via sms and / or via voice call. Along the descent, in the gully, a second station monitors any movement of debris through duly calibrated tear-off ropes. A third station, located on the bridle, controls other tear-off ropes.

In the unfortunate event a dangerous debris flow takes origin along the valley or near the bridle, the custom made station electronics sends an alarm signal to the mayor also, to protect passers-by and tourists, automatically activates a high-power siren installed on the bell tower of the village and turn on the traffic lights to close the transit on the cycle bridge over the Rudan creeck. Finally, the project involves the installation, by ANAS, the Italian National Road Authority, of the traffic lights that will block traffic on the SS 51 “Alemagna” highway.

At any time, the mayor or appointees can evaluate the status of the Rudan torrent thanks to the images, visible even at night (infrared) sent in real time by the cameras both from the mountain station and from the bridle station. This inspection is possible not only from the control panel computer but also rom anywhere via any smartphone or tablet.

This project, reported also in Rai (Italian National Broadcasting company) news, involved the Siap + Micros technicians in particular. Normally the stations we install are mainly used to collect meteorological data to be used by specialists, in this system the data collected and processed by the DA18K dataloggers can be translated, if necessary, into an alarm alert sent in real time to the inhabitants of the place. From now on, the Rudan torrent will no longer take by surprise the inhabitants of Peaio di Cadore.