Acquisition of real-time hydraulic data is an essential component for flood forecasting. However, we frequently face difficulties in obtaining discharge data using classical contact methods during high magnitude floods and for systems experiencing rapid hydro-geomorphological adjustment. Therefore, we developed low-cost, non-contact sensors and platforms that are designed to overcome these difficulties. These advances enable flood flow properties to be monitored at multiple locations across a river catchment, at low-cost, and communicated in near real-time by using an image velocimetry method. This is an optics-based approach for stream flow measurement using commercially available near-infrared digital cameras to acquire video footage in full HD (30fps). Video footage is then subjected to optical flow tracking techniques based on cross-correlation, and feature-based tracking, enabling the displacement rates of detected features (for example natural foam, seeds, woody debris, and turbulent structures) to be computed. This manual provides step by step guidance to install an image-based gauging station. It contains the list of necessary components, the calibration process of a new camera and the assembly procedure of the system.
flow surface velocity; handbook; non-contact river monitoring; low-cost; real-time
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