When the plans on Lelystad Airport’s flight paths were rolled out in 2016, concern struck a group of local residents in the municipality of Apeldoorn. ‘Of course everyone could imagine that Lelystad Airport would have an effect on the airspace, we really hadn’t thought that our beautiful and calm Veluwe might be hit hard!’ Together with the municipality and IoT specialist JENG, they set to work: ‘How can we take action now so we don’t end up at a loss for words?’
After research, JENG got in touch with Dutch Sensor Systems in Almere, where at the time they were working hard on developing the world’s first fully autonomous IoT Sound Monitoring solution. ‘When JENG approached us, we had just run some very successful pilots with the precursors of the Ranos dB2. JENG presented us with a case that allowed us to demonstrate the absolute power of our solution and test it directly for a longer period of time!’ With the Smart City platform that already existed in the municipality of Apeldoorn, all sorts of things were being measured and made transparent via smart IoT solutions, but sound wasn’t one of them. ‘With the help of a group of residents, we realised good LoRa coverage from The Things Network (TTN) in the city and the surrounding area. It provided the perfect basis to build on with sound measurements too!” says Gert Veldhuis of JENG IoT. ‘The pilots DSS had already done with their Ranos dB2 looked good, and because they had developed on LoRa technology as well, their hardware immediately seemed the right match for our demand.’
However, there were still a few small hurdles to overcome. For instance, JENG was keen to integrate the data from the Ranos dB2 sensors into the existing Slim Meten Apeldoorn platform, there was also no TTN support for DSS’s sensors yet. ‘We thought this was such an interesting and important case that we really wanted to buckle up.’ says Casper de Geus, as Product Owner responsible for Dashboarding, Cloud and Connectivity of the Ranos Ecosystem ‘TTN was rolled out worldwide already and certainly offered great options for neighbourhood initiatives, among others. Furthermore, in addition to our own dashboarding, we were keen to support integrators like JENG in realising their own multidisciplinary dashboarding. It makes perfect sense to want to achieve more insight and overview by combining measurement data.’
In 2018, 10 Ranos dB2 sensors were delivered and installed. Partly in the buildings and partly in the surroundings. ‘This way, we will not only measure what happens on and above nature, but in the data we can also see the development of sound in the inhabited environment. It gives us a good insight into where the higher or lower noise impacts on the nearby residents but also on nature come from.’ See also the ‘open data‘ on the website of the Municipality of Apeldoorn.
Flexible but reliable
If necessary, the measurements can be easily adjusted, without any disruption about the origin of the data. If we see that there is a need to adjust the measuring area slightly, it is very easy to do so by simply replacing the sensor to a new area. The messages sent every minute from the sensor always contain GPS data in addition to the sound measurements. This way, we can always be 100% sure which noise measurements were taken at which location and at which time.
The sensors run 100% on solar energy. Even in the dark winter months, the storage of solar energy has proven more than sufficient to guarantee the sensors’ operation. This is important because the full history of its data must remain available.
The value of data
Now that the opening of Lelystad Airport has been postponed several times for various reasons, the added value of the project in Apeldoorn seems to have disappeared like snow in the sun. However, nothing could be further from the truth: ‘Well, there is a need for aviation with the tightness at Schiphol Airport and a lot has been invested in Lelystad. Chances are, at some point, the urgency will resurface and the airport will then be opened anyway. If not, the various crises and discussions in recent years shows the added value of data. We continue to measure and we can add that data at any time to substantiate other data or a conversation on any topic. Data is a key pillar to a smart, sustainable and future-oriented living environment. If we don’t have that data, then you are behind by default!’