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Success Stories by Department of Transportation

Apr 29, 2014

Advanced Residual Stress Sensors To Determine Severity Of Steel Pipeline Mechanical Damage

It is well known that mechanical damage is the leading cause of steel pipeline failures. It is less well known, but equally true, that residual stress plays a critical role in the cracking and failure of pipelines. With DOT SBIR funding G2MT has developed an advanced sensor for measuring the residual stress (strain) levels in 3-D on mechanically damaged steel pipelines. The residual stress assessment technology provides a long-awaited replacement for caliper testing of pipeline mechanical damage to improve fitness-for-service assessments and pipeline integrity through in-situ nondestructive analysis.

Residual Stress Dents are among the most common forms of pipeline mechanical damage, yet under current regulations every dent found must be analyzed using antiquated caliper-based measurements to determine if the dent should be repaired or removed. The...

Apr 27, 2012

Through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, Traffax Inc. developed and deployed a system of 48 real-time BluFax BluetoothTMTraffic Monitoring (BTM) sensors on major freeways and signalized arterials in Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland in 2011.  The BTM technology was developed at the University of Maryland and licensed for commercialization in 2008 to Traffax Inc.  Initially developed as a portable, easily deployable stand alone system, BluFax BTM has provided significant utility for traffic studies and origin–destination studies in the US and abroad.  The focus of the SBIR project was to bring high-resolution BTM data to real-time applications for use by operations, traffic, and other purposes.  The 48 unit deployment has been in full operation for over six months, providing high-resolution travel time data in real-time travel, sampling approximately one...

Jan 9, 2012

In a previous SBIR success story, we discussed the development of a cost competitive, easy-to-use and reliable tool for “in-the-ditch” characterization of mechanical damage (MD) and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) for buried pipelines, as well as internal and external corrosion under insulation (CUI) through insulation and weather protection for exposed pipelines. Since that time, we have made significant developments on a specific challenge problem for CUI - defined by the DOT and the stakeholders in the industry – to detect external corrosion in pipelines through 2 in. insulation/coating and 0.016 in. – 0.040 in. aluminum (or stainless steel) weather protection. Note however that the JENTEK developed solution described below provides both internal and external corrosion through insulation and weather protection.

JENTEK’s Magnetoresistive Meandering Winding Magnetometer Array (MR-MWM-Array) uses low frequency eddy current methods to characterize corrosion in pipelines...

Oct 26, 2011

JENTEK Sensors, Inc.
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453

To deliver a cost competitive, easy-to-use and reliable tool for “in-the-ditch” characterization of mechanical damage (MD) and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) for buried pipelines, as well as internal and external corrosion imaging through insulation and weather protection (called corrosion under insulation, (CUI) for exposed pipelines.  Specific technical challenges encountered during this and related projects included:  repackaging of the JENTEK MWM-Array technology (currently in use for commercial and military aircraft engine and spacecraft inspection) for field inspections of pipelines; detection of corrosion and SCC through coatings and insulation including internal corrosion, from outside the pipeline, and high-resolution imaging of mechanical damage including defect geometry and stress. 

The MWM-Array is an inductive sensor that operates like a transformer in a plane. ...

Sep 16, 2011

With support from FHWA and RITA, researchers are integrating the latest camera technology with traffic control to improve safety at intersections

In 2007, more than 4,600 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That same year, crashes injured about 70,000 pedestrians. Zeroing in on intersections, NHTSA reports that 984 pedestrians were killed and 31,000 injured in 2005. Although these figures are lower than in previous years, the statistics underscore the continuing need for safety improvements. For instance, children 14 years old and younger accounted for 20 percent of all pedestrian injuries and 7 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. For NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), even one fatality or injury is one too many. _____________________________________________________________________________________ For many systems and applications—such as connected...

Jul 30, 2011

Presently, Federal Railroad Administration, (FRA) track inspectors evaluate the ride quality of a rail vehicle by manually noting “rough ride” locations.  Such a process is invariably subjective as to what an individual inspector considers a “rough ride”.  FRA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) has used the SBIR Program to fund the development of an ultra-portable ride quality meter (UPRQM) that can be used by FRA track inspectors to make objective measurements with relative ease.  The system can run on a typical laptop and has an intuitive user interface that consists of a strip of charts that display vertical and lateral acceleration values, a list of exception locations, and a GIS screen that allows the user to pinpoint their location on the track in addition to nearby grade crossings.  Additional software features include data analysis tools that can be used by researchers investigating rail vehicle dynamics.  The hardware consists of a compact...