Engineering the road to safer streetlighting
An innovative engineering project could lead to fewer night-time accidents on badly lit roads.
It is developing a revolutionary way of assessing whether roads are equipped with appropriate levels of streetlighting.
The new assessment system is quicker, cheaper and more comprehensive than methods previously used. It can also help local authorities avoid the cost of unnecessary streetlight replacement.
The project is being carried out by engineers at Queen’s University Belfast with funding from the Swindon-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The system incorporates automated techniques that the project team has already tested and used to assess the landing lights at Belfast International Airport.
Digital video cameras, light filters and light meters are fitted onto the roof of a car, which is then driven at normal speed down the stretch of road under investigation. Meanwhile, the global positioning system gives the car’s precise location and sensors provide information about the road’s contours. An on-board computer captures all the data, which is later processed in a laboratory. The data can then be used to aid decisions about whether any roads, or sections of road, need better lighting to make them safer for both motorists and pedestrians.
The project team, which is working closely with the Highways Agency and with local authorities, is led by Dr Gordon Dodds of the University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering School. Innovative imaging projects being undertaken at the School are also permitting analysis of all forms of lighting used in traffic signalling, as well as the interaction of robots equipped with vision in complex environments.
There are three main measures of lighting: luminance (light that is reflected from objects), illuminance (light that is shone onto objects), and glare (the amount of light that shields the objects we are trying to see). The new assessment system is the first of its kind that can measure all of these on complex streets. It is particularly well suited to measuring light along roads with twists, turns and gradients.
“The aim is to provide a reliable assessment technique that enables streetlighting resources to be applied in the most effective and beneficial way,” says Dr Dodds. “For us, the new system represents the culmination of seven years’ work”.
Jane Reck | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...