Calgary’s Sensor Network Will Monitor Noise Ordinances & More

Image: Flickr

Calgary’s LoRaWAN — a long-range, low power digital wireless network — sensors will be used to categorize noises like gun shots, trains, construction and road noise through the work of a government partnership. The smart city solution could improve enforcement of noise ordinances and more.

As part of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, the city of Calgary has formed a research partnership with the University of Calgary and is working on a number of sensor-based projects. One of the projects is building a network of low-cost acoustic sensors to enable continuous monitoring related to noise ordinances and more.

The LoRaWAN — a long-range, low power digital wireless network — sensors will be used to categorize noises like gun shots, trains, construction and road noise and pinpoint time and location of the noise.

The goal is that by enabling sensor-based monitoring, law enforcement does not have to wait for complaints to be notified of municipal noise ordinance violations, improving efficiency.

“We came up with a special type acoustic sensor that could precisely determine noise levels in the city,” Henry Leung, head of the robotics and sensor networks group at the Schulich School of Engineering, told the Calgary Sun.

Testing will happen over the next year, including during two major music festivals, according to Nan Xie, the city’s IT leader.

“We can have a noise network for the whole city,” said Leung.

Learn about the LoRaWAN network and sensors:

One of the partners, Semtech, described why it chose LoRaWAN for Calgary’s network on its blog:

  • The LoRaWAN standard is one of the leading open standards for low power wide area network technology.
  • Cost effective deployments for trials, on our City-owned fiber and radio towers, can build and expand our LoRaWAN-based network with minimal addition cost.
  • LoRa Technology’s inherent qualities enable resilient and reliable radio capabilities in urban environment.
  • Battery operated sensors remove the requirement for fixed power and enable multiple years of battery life depending on the use case. This is quite useful to many of our use cases such as trailers, golf carts, etc.
  • LoRa-based sensors and networks can fit easily into many software ecosystems.
  • The LoRaWAN standard has security fundamentally built into the specification.

Learn about Calgary’s remote and real-time acoustic monitoring development:

Semtech UseCase Calgary UrbanAlliance Web by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

Learn more about sensors in our previous coverage:

How Smart Sensors will Improve New York Power

Sound Sensors Can Detect Water Pipe Leaks

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.