The aim of the proposal is to design, assess and promote an ICT-based system, exploiting distributed and local sensors, for non-destructive electromagnetic monitoring in order to achieve the critical transport infrastructures more reliable and safer. This has the overall aim of developing a high situational awareness in order to provide real time and detailed information and images of the infrastructure status to improve decision support for emergency and disaster stakeholders.
The system exploits an open network architecture that can accommodate a wide range of sensors, static and mobile, and can be easily scaled up to allow the integration of additional sensors and interfacing with other networks. It relies on heterogeneous state-of-the-art electromagnetic sensors, enabling a self-organizing, self-healing, ad-hoc networking of terrestrial sensors, supported by specific satellite measurements.
The integration of electromagnetic technologies with new ICT information and telecommunications systems enables remotely controlled monitoring and surveillance and real time data imaging of the critical transport infrastructures. The proposal will be based on several independent non-invasive imaging technologies based on electromagnetic sensing.
Sensor cross validation, synergy and new data fusion and correlation schemes will permit a multi-method, multi-resolution and multi-scale electromagnetic detection and monitoring of surface and subsurface changes of the infrastructure. The architecture will be based on web sensors and service-oriented-technologies that comply with specific end-user requirements, including economical convenience, exportability, efficiency and reliability.
The system will adopt open architectures and will make efforts to achieve full interoperability. The system will be tested on very challenging test beds such as: a highway-bridge and a railway tunnel.
European transport networks under surveillance
EU-funded scientists developed an innovative remote sensing system for monitoring critical transport infrastructure.
Over the last few years, earthquakes, industrial accidents and power blackouts have mainly led to tunnel and bridge damage or destruction in Europe. Detecting and monitoring any surface or sub-surface changes in structures in real time is therefore of paramount importance.
Against this backdrop, the EU-funded 'Integrated system for transport infrastructure surveillance and monitoring by electromagnetic sensing' (ISTIMES) project developed an information and communication technology (ICT)-based system of remote sensors. It provides timely information and images about infrastructure status, making damage detection and routine maintenance significantly easier. The system is also geared towards better situational awareness and crisis management in case of emergencies and disasters.
The ISTIMES novel system continues to monitor civil structure and provide information on damage during or even after disaster events. It is also suitable for assisting emergency evacuations for rescuers and the public in such cases.
State-of-the-art in situ electromagnetic sensors with satellite information were integrated with new ICT systems, enabling remote control and imaging at different temporal and spatial scales. By using local and distributed sensors, more detailed information about sensitive and damaged structure parts is collected. The system has an open architecture, accommodating different sensors, and can easily be scaled up for integrating additional sensors and interfaces with other networks.
Several non-invasive technologies based on electromagnetic sensing were improved to allow multi-method, multi-scale monitoring and detection of surface and sub-surface changes in infrastructure.
Six sensor prototypes were developed for testing. The sensor systems were assessed at two test sites and in two test beds. In particular, one experiment was unique in terms of high-mechanical impact on a civil structure with multiple sensor systems that were set up in a cooperative way.
Monitoring and emergency management systems such as that provided by ISTIMES provide fast and reliable damage assessment due to multiple-technology integration and can even discourage terrorist attacks.