Sheet: Story Ideas from CITRIS
cheap sensors may be the key to making buildings more comfortable
and energy efficient, according to Jan Rabaey, UC Berkeley
professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences
and scientific co-director of the Berkeley Wireless Research
Center. With CITRIS funding, he and colleagues in engineering
and in the College of Environmental Design's Center for the
Built Environment hope to outfit buildings with sensors to
measure temperature, air flow, light, sound levels, humidity
and more, and connect them in a wireless network that will
correlate the information and control air vents, ducts, lights
and other machinery.
sensors and actuators, a building's environment can be tailored
to the users - for example, adjusting temperature by directing
airflow based upon occupancy level and time of day, increasing
worker comfort. The sensor and actuator network also would
save energy by turning off or down unneeded resources.
to all this is miniature devices that integrate sensors, wireless
communication and a power source - all in a small platform.
In about a year's time, prototypes the size of a ping-pong
ball will be installed in a couple of campus buildings, but
the goal is a device small enough to fit inside furniture,
partitions and even ceiling tiles. The devices would be powered
by ambient light. An innovative alternative power source is
a microvibrator that could sit inside an airduct and generate
energy from the vent vibration alone.
- Jan Rabaey,
UC Berkeley, (510) 643-8206, email@example.com
Thomas Budinger, chair of UC Berkeley's bioengineering department,
believes that as many as 60,000 fatal heart attacks could
be prevented each year if at-risk people were outfitted with
sensors that can detect a cardiac arrest and automatically
alert emergency personnel to the person's location and status.
That's about 20 percent of the 300,000 people who die of heart
attacks every year.
funding, he and his colleagues plan to combine GPS and network
communication with pulse-rate sensors on a wrist-worn device.
People at moderate to high risk of a heart attack, for whom
timely resuscitation is critical, would benefit. Such devices
could pave the way for other types of body monitoring devices,
including medical monitoring of military personnel.
Budinger, UC Berkeley, (510) 642-5833, firstname.lastname@example.org
truly reduce the risk of earthquakes, engineers and emergency
preparedness agencies need real-time information on the conditions
of buildings, bridges and lifeline networks immediately after
a quake. CITRIS proposes a way for these structures to monitor
themselves - by embedding tens of thousands of inexpensive
sensors that also analyze data before sending information
about condition and safety to owners and operators.
the goals of CITRIS is to build an infrastructure of high
bandwidth, pervasive communications systems so that we can
add thousands of cheap sensors to a building and bridges and
get a lot of data about its structural health - its performance
under normal everyday loads and under earthquake loads," said
Gregory Fenves, professor of civil engineering at UC Berkeley.
"We're talking about orders of magnitude improvement in the
volume and usefulness of information we get."
100 bridges in the state are instrumented now, and the sensors
are all very expensive. New technologies, including microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS), offer the prospect of cheap sensors with onboard
computers and wireless communication with distributed processing
of information. CITRIS scientists will develop the technology
to place such sensors in buildings and bridges, ultimately
making these structures safer, more efficient and more useful.
Fenves, UC Berkeley, (510) 643-8543, email@example.com
Pister, associate professor of electrical engineering and
computer sciences at UC Berkeley, is developing a complete
sensor/actuator/communication system in a cubic millimeter,
a project he has dubbed "smart dust." Such devices will play
a big role in CITRIS, with cheap and compact sensors distributed
throughout a building to monitor energy use and occupancy,
within bridges and buildings to monitor structural integrity,
or along freeways to follow traffic flow.
he has shown that various components of this system work independently.
For example, he has shown he can communicate via laser between
a micro-weather station 21 kilometers away in San Francisco.
He and his colleagues also have demonstrated laser beam steering
with sub-millimeter mirrors driven by motors all on the same
chip, and an eight-inch radio-controlled plane that can fly
60 mph for 18 minutes carrying a video camera with live video
has created an integrated device for measuring temperature,
humidity, pressure, light, tilt, vibration and magnetic fields
with a bi-directional radio link, microprocessor and battery
- all in 1 cubic inch, using commercial, off-the-shelf devices.
Plus, he has created a tiny operating system that allows these
devices to integrate with other systems.
Pister, UC Berkeley, (510) 643-9268, firstname.lastname@example.org
CITRIS project will link roadway sensors throughout the state
of California to computers than can analyze traffic flow and
tell Caltrans and commuters the state of the freeways. For
drivers, this might be an estimate of the time from point
A to point B, or the best alternate route. For Caltrans, it
might be historical trends, estimates of the best place to
make capital investments, or just day-to-day traffic problems.
The system also could give planners data to make transit decisions,
ranging from the installation of ramp metering to the placement
of high occupancy vehicle lanes.
the development work leading to such a system already has
been done by a large ongoing program at UC Berkeley called
California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH).
Partially funded by the National Science Foundation, PATH
has created all the necessary software and protocols and is
hooking up freeway sensors throughout the state. By the end
of the year, all should be connected to a central computer
and the information available on the Web for Caltrans engineers
also are working on a prototype cellphone that could allow
commuters to access traffic information readily.
will allow PATH engineers to complete this statewide network
and test cheaper MEMS sensors not only on freeways but also
on major roads and arterials. PATH researchers also want to
perfect a video freeway surveillance system, a prototype of
which already is in place in Emeryville, Calif., to enable
Caltrans to follow individual cars and, for the first time,
determine where the traffic goes.
studies is the Holy Grail of transportation, because all transportation
planning depends upon where people are going, not just how
many there are on a particular freeway," said PATH director
Pravin Varaiya, professor of electrical engineering and computer
sciences at UC Berkeley. "That sort of data is crucial to
planning studies, whether it is predicting the impact of a
lane closure or of a football game."
Varaiya, UC Berkeley, (510) 642-5270, email@example.com
AN ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK
small-scale prototype of one type of system envisioned by
CITRIS was developed at UC Santa Cruz. The Real-time Environmental
Information Network and Analysis System (REINAS) gathers data
on the Monterey Bay coastal environment from an extensive
network of remote sensors, stores it in a distributed database,
and displays data on command via powerful graphics techniques.
With REINAS, weather forecasters and environmental scientists
can observe, monitor and analyze regional oceanographic and
meteorological phenomena in real time from their desktops.
based on the REINAS model have a wide range of potential applications,
said Patrick Mantey, dean of UC Santa Cruz's Baskin School
of Engineering and director of the REINAS project.
case, it's environmental conditions in Monterey Bay, but it
could just as well be traffic patterns or earthquake information,"
to UC Santa Cruz researchers, REINAS also involves scientists
at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Mantey, UC Santa Cruz, (831) 459-2158, firstname.lastname@example.org
Davis faculty members will conduct two CITRIS projects that
should improve understanding of how to maintain good water
and air quality as urban areas grow, an issue of critical
economic and social value in California.
Niemeier, professor of civil and environmental engineering,
would focus on air quality and vehicle emissions, in coordination
with another CITRIS project on transportation systems at UC
Berkeley. The air quality effort will include monitoring and
analyzing real-time variations in traffic-related pollution
at dozens of specific sites in Southern California to better
understand the effects of traffic control on travel efficiency
and clean air.
professor Jeffrey Mount will lead a project to fully instrument
a single ecosystem, such as a small watershed, for long-term
environmental studies. This has never been done before in
the United States. The instruments would include air samplers
and stream-flow gauges.
Niemeier, UC Davis, (530) 752-8918, email@example.com
Mount, UC Davis, (530) 752-7092, firstname.lastname@example.org
Davis computer science professor Bernd Hamann envisions a
future where Bay Area traffic managers stand gazing at 20-foot-by-8-foot
"power walls" or interact with stereoscopic visualizations
of incoming streams of regional traffic-activity data. The
managers wear special glasses and gloves that allow them to
adjust traffic patterns through direct manipulation of the
just one possible area to which the UC Davis Visualization
and Graphics Research Group, consisting of faculty members
Bernd Hamann, Ken Joy, Kwan-Liu Ma and Nelson Max, can contribute
substantially to CITRIS. This UC Davis group will be a partner
in developing the technology needed for real-time monitoring
and interpretation of massive data streams produced by vast
arrays of sensors embedded throughout the Bay Area: sensors
in water, soil and air; in major buildings and bridges; and
range from the observation and analysis of earthquake phenomena
to the development of environmental policies. The research
group already is developing visualization software for two
"immersive workbenches," where users can view and manipulate
three-dimensional data on a large tabletop.
Hamann, UC Davis, (530) 754-9157, email@example.com
UC Davis professor of electrical and computer engineering
Ben Yoo wants to link CITRIS projects at various UC campuses
via optical networking - high-speed data-transmission systems
that use light pulses to carry information. Yoo, director
of the Optical Switching & Communications Systems Laboratory,
is developing a novel optical router that moves packets of
data faster than any existing system. It incorporates new
technologies that allow switching on three domains - time,
space and wavelength. He is already working on a prototype
of this optical router that will link multiple sites on the
UC Davis campus through an existing three-mile ring network
of optical cable.
- Ben Yoo,
UC Davis, (530) 752-7063, firstname.lastname@example.org
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