USC team makes it to engineering contest’s top 10-A A +A
Sunday, January 16, 2011
STUDENTS from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City are proposing a solution to illegal logging that involves the sending of an SMS alert to authorities upon detection of chainsaw sound, providing a 24/7 monitoring of forests.
This is one of three wireless applications designed to address problems linked to disasters that have made it to the top 10 entries competing in the finals of the 7th Sweep Innovation and Excellence Awards of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).
The annual Sweep Innovation and Excellence Awards is Smart’s search for the most innovative wireless solutions designed to address real concerns of the community.
It is open to partner-schools under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep), which aims to help elevate the level of engineering and technology education in the country, particularly in the field of electronics and communications engineering.
Aside from USC’s Preventive Illegal Logging Monitoring Endeavor (Prime), another application from the Mapua Institute of Technology seeks to act as an alert mechanism for an impending disaster, while that of the Ateneo de Naga University aims to assist in emergency response when disaster strikes.
It was team leader Vince Noel Elizaga, a 4th year BSECE student of USC, who first thought of a wireless innovation that can help lessen the denudation of the forested areas in the Binahaan Watershed.
“We hope that this project will be able to help the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) monitor the harvestable area of the Binahaaan Watershed. We also hope that this project will help Cenro’s forest guards in capturing and preventing loggers from cutting trees illegally,” says Elizaga.
Cenro is the lead agency in protecting and enforcing forest laws. Ormoc is part of the 3rd district where the Binahaan Watershed is located.
“Being aware of the devastations brought about by typhoons and floods, the team wanted to contribute to minimizing the front-line causes of the problem. It is also the team’s desire to prevent the recurrence of the 1991 Ormoc flood tragedy,” said engineer Ryan Alocilja, team adviser and professor at USC College of Engineering.
Other members of the USC team are Dexter Paalisbo and Raymart Aurora, 3rd year BSECE; Vernon Bongo and Eric John Lobrigas, 4th year BSECE; and Sergie Domingo Adlawan and Neldon Verzosa, 4th year BSBA.
As their entry, the Mapua Institute of Technology team put together a Flood Alert System using Smart SMS technology to aid in disaster preparedness from storms and floods.
The device includes a water-level detector circuit that connects to a microcontroller linked to the GSM module, which sends information to the mobile phones of concerned local government units and NGOs and to a web server. Probes per level are put in place to measure height of the flood and compute for the water increase rate.
Expected to benefit from the project are communities in flood-prone areas and government agencies such as the National Disaster Coordinating Council, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pag-asa), and Metro Manila Development Authority.
The team from Mapua is composed of 4th year ECE students – team leader Julius Rommel Salud, and members Aliza Jane del Rosario, Michael Vincent Repollo, and Timothy March Valerio.
The qualifying Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) team, meanwhile, submitted the “Community-Driven Social Welfare and Emergency Response Information System” for Naga City. It manages an array of services such as a missing persons directory, ambulance and fire assistance request, and resources/equipment directory.
According to team faculty mentor engineer Elmer Claveria, Jr., the system addresses the need for real-time information during crisis such as the extent of the problem.
“With this application, agencies in-charge can respond more timely during emergencies such as fire, flood, medical and missing person situation.” (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2011.