Chinese city of Shanghai has a manhole cover problem. They are going to solve it with the help of satellites.
Authorities in Shanghai take drastic measures to get a grip on the manhole cover problem the city is facing since years. Every year thousands of the 6.5 million manhole covers in Shanghai are stolen.
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Missing manhole covers are a big safety hazard for pedestrians and also for drivers. Shanghai plans to install sensors on 12,000 manhole covers that detect if the cover is removed. The sensors also report about water and gas leaks in the tunnels under the streets.
The sensors are going to be monitored by satellite. Chinese People.cn reports that the main function of the satellite manhole tracking system is to identify the responsible department to replace the manhole or fix the leakage.
Shanghai completed trials of the system already, but there is no schedule yet for the full rollout. It sounds like a big job to install 12,000 sensors as they also need power cables to operate. It is certainly one of the oddest use of satellite technology we have heard of.
The Chinese Mega city has already taken more practical measures to keep its citizen safe. Several manholes have already been fitted with safety nets.