Advanced monitoring and control
The main research topics are:
Environmental monitoring and control
The main objective of the research is to develop innovative intelligentmonitoring, control and safety methodologies for critical infrastructuresystems, such as electric power systems, telecommunication networks, andwater distribution systems. This is an interesting action, that brings togetherexpertise from different field in order to develop methods for managing andprotecting critical infrastructures, especially those of major interest for the society.
A detailed monitoring of environmental parameters which are critical for a particular cultivation can permit the optimization of production and theimprovement of quality. At the same time through this monitoring it ispossible to detect precisely pathologies or criticalities. As a result, an effectiveirrigation and a proper and selective dispensing of chemical treatments (e.g.fungicides) is possible, so lowering the presence of chemicals in foods whilereducing costs.
Wireless Networks in Manufacturing Plant
The use of wireless systems is currently considered of great interest in automation industrial for the advantage of installation and updating of systems with a high degree of automation. In this context, the QoS constraints can be particularly narrow both in terms of time transparency in close control loop and exchanged reports and controls commands integrity.
Structural monitoring systems have a key role in building maintenanceand their post-disaster assessment. Traditional systems are made up of gridsof sensors deployed along the building and communicating with a centralprocessing unit via a cable connection. In the last years, Wireless SensorNetworks (WSN) emerged as a possible attractive alternative solution. In facts,the replacement of cables with wireless connections along with the use ofmodern sensors allows to obtain significant benefits in terms of cost, size, easeof installation and invasivity (key issue in the case of historical buildings).
Our research activity will then be oriented to the optimization of dataprocessing. First of all we will try to implement a distributed processing withinthe network: the development of appropriate techniques for distributedcomputing, will allow to exploit the processing capabilities of the nodes inorder to obtain a local data processing. Besides an optimization of thecommunication (and therefore of energy consumption), the distribution willbe the first step towards a real-time processing of data.
Maximum attention is paid to the issue of homeland security and, in particular, on how the technologies of heterogeneous and cooperativenetworks can provide a significant contribution in monitoring and control ofland and/or sensitive perimeters. As an example you can refer to the portareas, recognizing that this scenario presents most of the typical applicationdomains of homeland security.Indeed, in a port area the following needs, sometimes mutually dependent, arepresent:
- to secure the port area inside and around its perimeter, which has a part on the sea and a part on the ground and which provides, respectively, the transit of vessels, vehicles and people;
- to enable the safe harbor activities, often dangerous being characterized by the coordinated movement of vessels, objects and vehicles;
- to minimize emissions into the atmosphere and water in order to reduce the environmental impact;
- to increase the efficiency of logistics management;
- to activate measures aimed at reducing the phenomenon of counterfeiting and smuggling of goods.
Each of the above application contexts is characterized by specific rules and, inthis framework, is open to the use of innovative technologies. To prove thetopicality of the issues outlined above and the urgency to deal with it is usefulto mention the project Imcosec (Improve the supply chain for containertransport and integrated security Simultaneously - www.imcosec.eu), startedon 1 April 2010, which the EU has entrusted the task to identify and describegaps in security and efficiency of transport logistics. The project is fundedthrough the 7th European Framework Programme (FP7) and brings togetherdifferent agencies, including the BIC (Bureau International des Containers)and, for Italy, the Politecnico di Milano, and will propose processes,procedures and technologies to help to smooth the transport chain between aport and its hinterland. The first objective is to draw a road map that allows tocarry out demonstration activities of the efficiency of the proposed solutions.
The specific aim of this project is to maximally exploit wireless technologies toincrease efficiency and resiliency of security related systems andfunctionalities in this challenging scenario.