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IIT Kanpur launches NSVS to monitor the climate change impact on Ganga's ecosystem

The body will record real-time data transmissions and web-based visualisations of the river to study the effect of environmental change on its health

Apex technology institute of Kanpur, the IIT has developed an Aquatic Autonomous Observatory named Niracara Svayamsasita Vedh Shala (NSVS) for monitoring the riverine ecosystem of the River Ganga. The body will record real-time data transmissions and web-based visualisations of the river to study the effect of environmental change on the waterbody's health. With a robust management system, the NSVS will notably sustain itself independently.

A comprehensive model of monitoring Ganga's health

As the world stands at the brink of a climate emergency, the Indian Institute of Kanpur has launched the NSVS System to analyse and deter the impending doom of water poisoning or sudden floods in the Ganga. Reportedly, the advanced technology observatory was inaugurated by A.R Harish, Dean of Research and Development at IIT Kanpur at the Laxman Ghat of Bithoor.

The new-age system has been developed as a low-cost, multi-parameter, water-quality monitoring platform, characterised by multiple sensors and automated samplers. The design is semi-submersible, all-weather, robust, and perfectly stable, making it ideal for round-the-clock surveillance.

Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur said, "The Ganga is not just a river but a cultural heritage for us, and therefore it is our responsibility to safeguard it from any harm. IIT Kanpur has been doing rigorous research and developing various mechanisms to study the ecosystem of the Ganga and the impact of climate change on it. I congratulate the team led by Prof. Bishakh Bhattacharya on the inauguration of the NSVS system, which will ensure real-time, in-situ monitoring of the river Ganga for ensuring its good health."

As per reports, a dedicated team of earth scientists, mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineers from IIT Kanpur, the NSVS Project, under the leadership of Bishakh Bhattacharya have backed NSVS to sense three important parameters, namely pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen capacity of water. The model can also be used to investigate the total dissolved solids, specific gravity and presence of metallic ions in water, creating a comprehensive monitoring system.

A self-sustained monitoring observatory

Every 15 minutes, the NVSV system automatically gathers data and transmits it to the institute using a wireless network. Designed to self-sustain, the platform includes a solar cell array and a vortex-induced vibration (VIV) system that can capture energy from the flow of rivers. To notch up its upgrade flexibility, the IIT-K's platform has been kept open-ended; other institutes developing sensors can integrate it into their systems collaboratively.

As part of a larger strategy, the IIT Kanpur recently launched the Ganga Atlas project and an open-source workflow that enables riverine imagery to be processed and analyzed at a minimum cost. A roundtable discussion was also held on the rejuvenation of rivulets in the Ganga river basin, as well as research on the high resilience of dissolved heavy metals in the river.

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