“For the first time, artificial intelligence controls when and how much water is distributed across an entire park to cool its microclimate,” says Dr. Professor Pfautsch of Western Sydney University.
WSU researchers are leading an expert team that is transforming a 40 hectares Bicentennial Park at Sydney Olympic Park into the coolest public park in the state. Dubbed SIMPACT (Smart Irrigation Management for Parks and Cool Towns), the project is a collaboration between the government, universities, and private industry, and utilises artificial intelligence and technology to cool the park’s microclimate for residents and visitors. The use of cutting-edge science is needed in order to monitor water use and temperatures, allowing Sydney Olympic Park Authority to optimize its water management and irrigation system.
Spreading over 40 hectares, Sydney Olympic Park and its Bicentennial Park has one of the largest irrigation systems in Australia.
- High costs of irrigation
- Heat waves up to 50°C are becoming more common
- Smart data available for residents and visitors of the park
As a part of this innovative project, a network of more than 200 Senstick Agri (SSM30) soil sensors and 50 Senstick Urban (SMC30) microclimate sensors were used to record soil moisture and air temperature. Together with weather forecasts, the microclimate data captured was used to fine-tune the park’s active cooling management. This can make a substantial contribution to reducing urban heat and ensuring residents about the safety in accessing the outdoors. Using only recycled water for cooling purposes this project also represents a large-scale prototype of how smart water management can lower irrigation costs and ease the pressure on water resources. Park visitors can also check on their mobile phones where the coolest spot for a picnic is or where they should exercise.
- 83% decrease in irrigation costs, from $6 million AUD to $1 million AUD
- Offering real-time microclimate information, the park is safer for the public
- Possibility to expand safe zones by easy integration of more sensors.
50 Senstick Urban (SMC30) were planted on poles or trees, 3 meters off the ground (UP), and 200 Senstick Agri (SSM30) were dug into the ground.
All sensor data can then be read and managed on the appropriate platform. Snapshot of SOPA platform dashboard.