The Hudson River, or the Great Mohegan as it was called by the Iroquois, is a 315-mile river that runs through eastern New York, less than 10 miles from my house. Like many rivers, it is slowly making a comeback from many years of pollution and abuse.The combined expertise of IBM and academic and government partners, is providing a first-of-its-kind information infrastructure that can collect, sort, analyze and graphically portray information from continuous streams of real-time physical, chemical and biological data from hundreds, possibly thousands, of sensors that will be installed in the Hudson River.
Real-time monitoring and observation technologies provide new ways of looking at phenomena at multiple levels of resolution. A networked array of sensors in the river, perhaps one every 100 meters, will provide the data necessary to locally observe spatial variations in such variables as temperature, pressure, salinity, turbidity , dissolved oxygen and other basic water chemistry parameters.
The measurement of dissolved oxygen in the Hudson River, for example, on a continuous time basis will indicate how a local region of the river may be able to support biological organisms. All of these sensors transmitting information in real-time will result in massive amounts of data and will leverage Stream Computing system. This high-performance computer system rapidly analyzes data as it streams in from many sources, increasing the speed and accuracy of decision making that could include the ability to visualize the movement of chemical constituents, monitor water quality and protect fish species as they migrate, as well as provide a better scientific understanding of river and estuary ecosystems. The goal is to ultimately translate that knowledge into better policy, management and education for the Hudson River and for rivers and estuaries worldwide.