School of Computing


ASTRA - Applications of Smartdust in Transport

In the field of electronic communications there is a new and evolving range of networking and communications technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the passage of information between moving vehicles, infrastructure and users and managers of the transport system. Of particular interest to this study is the development of Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETS) which offer a low-cost solution to the need for having available large numbers of intelligent communicating nodes and sensors (MOTES).

This technology is at a relatively early stage of development but crucially offers the potential for miniaturisation (i.e. Smartdust) using nano-technology techniques thus broadening the current scope of possible applications in transport. The aim of this research is to identify the possible development pathways of Smartdust technologies over the next 30 years and the potential application areas of these technologies in transport. This will be achieved by a combination of informed forward-thinking and an on-road proof of concept trial using vehicles and roadside infrastructure equipped with Smartdust technology.

Potential applications of this technology to be explored in the project include automatic vehicle locationing, real-time passenger information, road safety, congestion monitoring and management and pollution monitoring.

A partnership of research skills which offers a breadth of expertise in transport applications, small-scale communications technologies and technology exploitation has been assembled to undertake the project.