The basic concept behind this project is to develop a network of tiny sensors connected wirelessly to each other which can be used in-situ to monitor flows. These smart particles transmit data to a receiving device in real-time.
Illustration of the basic concept of smart particles
Each individual particle is referred to as a ‘mote’. Each mote is approximately 1 cm³, although sizes may vary.
These particles can be used in real rivers during storms and other high flow events to measure and monitor flows around bridge piers. These types of measurements have been hitherto impossible (or at least very dangerous). The particles should be able to:
The particles should also be able to operate in turbulent, high velocity water while moving and transmitting signals during extreme meteorological conditions.
The development of this technology would give researchers a means of analyzing and characterizing flow patterns during storms and flooding. A better understanding of these events will allow for the enhancement of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software (which in turn will lead to better simulations), and will ultimately result in improved bridge design.
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Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
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