Tide Gate Sensors (2019)


In the areas of the lower Hackensack Estuary, ninety percent of the land is just two feet above the high water mark. Fourteen municipalities share the basin (Meadowlands District) where flood protection mostly relies on a half a century old tide gate system. The system weaknesses were on display during Hurricane Sandy where faulty tide gates were exposed. There is not one agency or town responsible for all tide gates, and aside from site visits to each tide gate, there is no way to check if the network of tide gates are in proper working order before high energy weather events.


Instrument main tide gates in the District with water level sensors both on the downstream (sea-side) and upstream (land-side). Configure the water level sensors so that they continuously report in real-time the water level on each side of tide gates.


Create a network of instrumented tide gates where the water level measuring hardware and communication systems are solar powered and report back via telecommunication to MRRI’s cloud server, where data is stored and can be visualized in real time.


  • Identify critical tide gates and survey their water control elevation.
  • Identify pressure transducers, communication equipment and power sources for reliable long term deployment of water elevation sensors strapped to tide gates.
  • Identify an appropriate telemetry system, back-end data management system and user interface
  • Build and test instrument cluster prototypes at selected tide gates
  • Assess tide gates in real time for proper upkeep and monitor their operating status previous to, and during high energy storms and sea surge events


A tide gate monitoring system that operates independent from the local power grid and provides accurate water levels around tide gates in real-time. The service is available over the Internet so that engineers can evaluate their operational status at any moment.

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