Polar | Water, Water, Everywhere!

Guatemala City

Awards & Nominations

Polar has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Water, Water, Everywhere!

Develop a tool that provides emergency management personnel with an up-to-date flood-risk map for an area of interest.

River Run

An option for monitoring rivers and lakes, so it can alert before there is a danger of a flood, drought or becoming contaminated.


Given that in Guatemala rivers and lakes usually reach critical levels of drought and floods not to mention contamination in certain areas. All of this occurs before an alert is emitted to the authorities to take the correct measures to take care of the issue. We know that a gadget able to collect data and transmit it before the risks are visible and too late to take action, is neccesary to save numerous lives and resources, not only here but in every place that large bodies of water exist.

We maintened the idea that our solution had to be simple and easy to build with recycled computer parts or easy to find resources. Due to this we used:

  • Waterproofed DC Motor(for this we applied the principle of electrical induction to generate an electrical current and use this as an indicator of how fast the water flow is traveling).
  • A cheap waterproof temperature probe.
  • An infrared sensor for water level.
  • An old analog phone soldered with relays automated to send text with the data processed from the Arduino board.
  • A GSM module connected to a PC for data reception from the arduino.
  • A django web aplication for data decoding, control and publication of the data.
  • An arduino mega board for sensor control, data recollection and sending data through the phone.

Since we didn't have the resources to buy an actual gsm module to send data, we had to use an old analog phone we couldn't use all keys so we created an encription code where the digit numbers where represented by the first 10 letters on the phone and use 2 special wildcards:

Key - Meaning

  • a - 0
  • b - 1
  • c - 2
  • d - 3
  • e - 4
  • f - 5
  • g - 6
  • h - 7
  • i - 8
  • j - 9
  • k - . (decimal point)
  • l - (data separation this means that the lecture from one parameter has ended and next character represent the next parameter)




  • Water floow speed 10 km/h
  • Temperature 20.6 Celcious
  • Water level 25 cm(under the sensor)

Data recolection is done every second and the mean of the data is sent every 2 minutes through the analog phone.

We face many challenges like the codification and decofication of data, the soldering of the phone and the data reception from the gsm module to the PC but after solving these problems our prototype is fully functional and capable of monitoring rivers.

Our project will have a galactic impact!!!

With the correct financing the proyect will be improved adding certain sensors to detect water PH and rain precipitation and a raspberry will be added as a server for reception and publication of data of many rivers, lakes and bodies of water; eliminating the need of a PC constantly running.


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.