Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Northeastern Wins Multi-Million Dollar Grant to Develop Critical Infrastructure Sensing Technology

Northeastern University has been awarded a $9 million federal research grant to develop new multi-sensor technology systems for cars and trucks that will allow for real-time assessment of road and bridge infrastructure across the country.

Northeastern will lead the five-year VOTERS (Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors) project along with a range of government, industry, and academic partners.

“This multi-million dollar federal grant is an investment in one of Northeastern’s greatest strengths: the discovery and development of knowledge that benefits society,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun. “We are pleased to take the lead on this important project, which will do a great deal toward improving our nation’s infrastructure and advancing public safety.”

The need to restore and maintain urban infrastructure is identified by the National Academy of Engineering as an engineering Grand Challenge for the 21st century. The well publicized American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) 2005 Report Card gave the nation’s infrastructure a grade of D, estimating that a $1.6 trillion investment was required to address basic needed repairs.

Ming Wang, Ph.D., and Sara Wadia-Fascetti, Ph.D., both professors of civil engineering at Northeastern, will co-direct the project. The team, assembled from university, industry and government partners, will equip vehicles, such as city buses, with innovative multi-sensor technology systems that monitor surface conditions while the vehicle is in motion. The sensors will utilize acoustics and radar to monitor the roads and bridges under real driving conditions, looking for potholes and cracks in the concrete and other abnormalities that are in need of repair.

This new technology will eliminate the need for current inspection methods that involve hazardous and congestion-prone highway work zones. The commercialization of several new inventions is envisioned as the end-product of funding.

“The goal of this project is to create a cost-effective and safe way to monitor our civil infrastructure under normal driving conditions,” said Dr. Wang, principal investigator on the project. “This sensing technology will create a way to detect problems, both on the surface and subsurface, so that problems can be fixed more efficiently.”

Computers installed in the vehicles will control the sensors and a GPS system will pinpoint the collected data to very precise locations. Constant streams of data will be processed and reported back to base stations using a cellular phone system, which will then be analyzed so that timely repairs can be made in vulnerable areas.

"New technologies combining civil, electrical and computer engineerings are essential to solve the crisis in the nation's infrastructure. Northeastern's innovative research leadership through Professors Wang, Wadia-Fascetti, and their colleagues will serve the nation well," said David Luzzi, Dean of Northeastern’s College of Engineering.

Northeastern will collaborate with various government, academic and industry partners on this project, including the Massachusetts Highway Department, Analogic Corporation, Infrasense Inc., and researchers at Boston University, in addition to the primary Joint Venture partners.

VOTERS is part of the NIST’s Technology Innovation Program, which was recently established to support innovative and high-risk, high-reward research in areas with a critical need.

Jenny Eriksen | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>