University of Canberra — the cutting edge of smart sensing

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) officially welcomed the University of Canberra’s (UC) membership to its network by launching a capability showcase event at UC’s campus on 26 September 2019. 

From water flow modelling and smart soil moisture intelligence systems through to rescue drones and wearable sensors for balance assessment, the University of Canberra (UC) brings its one of a kind sensing expertise to the NSSN. UC is the second university to join NSSN from the Australian Capital Territory following the addition of Australian National University earlier this year. 

“The NSSN’s vision is to transform the smart sensing ecosystem of New South Wales by bringing together expertise from the Academy, industry and government working at the nexus of smart sensing research and data to better leverage solutions and opportunities,” said faculty of Arts and Design Executive Dean, Professor Jason Bainbridge, “this mission aligns very closely with the vision of UC’s Faculty of Arts and Design.” 

“As innovators and designers who use, develop, and implement technology across all facets of the built natural and digital environment, we already use sensors in a range of areas including clothing, building, monitoring, urban design, and water management activities,” added Professor Bainbridge.

 The University of Canberra immediately brings its strength in sensing to the NSSN’s existing $3.4 million collaborative research project with the water industry. This multi-million dollar venture will use smart sensing for leak detection to prevent breaks in critical infrastructure. 

“We are involved in the pipe leakage detection project with NSSN. Our particular part is working collaboratively with ANU to use quantum technology to work out if a pipe is leaking,” said Professor Charles Lemckert, the head of the school of design and the built environment. 

The team at UC is modelling a dynamic density profile of water movement around soil and pipes to create the baseline measurements by which quantum physicists can ground-truth the gravity models that will reveal broken pipes in water infrastructure networks. 

“We are modelling the water flow through the soil from a leak. Then we can tie that in with the gravimeter data to see that it can actually measure that leak,” said professor Lemckert, “We are doing the engineering side of it, and the ANU is doing the quantum sensing technology side of it, and that’s what NSSN has done, it has brought groups together to be able to do this.” 

“ANU team need our data from soil moisture, and density profiles to see where is the water is at each step at a time after the pipe leakage,” said Nasrin Taghavi, a researcher from the project team at UC, “we have soil tests and soil profiles to model the underground structures.”

Shahrzad Abbasi