We can improve our transport system by using the latest advances in data technology to predict and control traffic.
Data from Earth observation satellites can be used to analyse pollution and congestion, with the potential to generate alternative routes that allow traffic to flow around urban areas more effectively.
Traffic management and Earth observation
At the University of Leicester, we have a strong track record in Earth observation techniques. Many of our academics work closely with industry, developing new products and techniques to manage traffic.
This helps businesses to better manage their fleet, saving travel time, fuel and improving carbon emissions as well as meeting the increasingly tough regulatory and stakeholder demands.
Services for business
The University of Leicester, in collaboration with Astrium, De Montfort University and Leicester city council is working on the iTRAQ project of dynamic traffic management system that optimises the use of the road network whilst sustaining high standards of air quality in urban environments.
The study will establish whether an integrated system of traffic and air quality management, strengthened through the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems, air quality and meteorology data from space-borne assets, could provide societal and economic benefits through implementation at the local authority level.
The target market is anticipated to be that of the local authorities of medium to large towns with typically more than 200,000 people. The iTRAQ system was successfully demonstrated in Leicester in 2011, and development options into 2015 are currently in negotiation.
For more information about iTRAQ, please contact Dr Roland Leigh, from the Earth Observation Science Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
CityScan, developed in partnership with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, constructs virtually real-time, 3D maps of pollution over entire urban areas of up to 25km2. CityScan undertakes monitoring of nitrogen dioxide and aerosols, effectively acting like a pollution radar.
Our internationally-recognised Control Group in the Department of Engineering has an enviable reputation in the development and application of control system design methods, which applies to many sectors of industry, particularly aerospace.
The Group’s specialisms include autonomous systems and fault tolerant flight control systems design, with particular interest in unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and helicopters, the development of innovative routing algorithms, robust and stochastic control and modelling. The group is very well resourced with excellent computing facilities.
Unmanned air vehicles
Unmanned vehicles have been recognised as a major development area in the 21st century, due to their flexibility and reduced risk of human loss. Their major drawback, however, is the lack of human intelligence to deal with uncertainties. In the last few years, one of our major research directions has been on raising the autonomy level of such vehicles, including:
- Mission scheduling
- Path planning
- Health monitoring and management
- Network optimisation
For more information, please contact Professor Dawei Gu.
Robust control of constrained systems - helicopter flight control
We also research helicopter flight control systems, with industrial support from with QinetiQ, AgustaWestland and the NRC Flight Research Laboratory, Canada.
A Government-upported project, REACT (Rotor Embedded Actuator Control Technology), investigates control systems to reduce the vibrational effects of the main rotor, which will reduce pilot fatigue and maintenance costs whilst improving the performance of the rotor system using embedded actuators.
For more information please contact Dr Matt Turner.
Monte Carlo methods for the control of complex systems - Air traffic management
This research develops new methods for the control of complex systems based on the use of Monte Carlo methods. The research has focused both on rigorous theoretical analysis and on the development of challenging real world applications. The research has been applied to the design of innovative tools for air traffic management for two EU projects.
For more information please contact Dr Andrea Lecchini Visintini.
Gain scheduling and LPV Systems – aerospace
Techniques developed at Leicester have been used in an ESA project to control the lateral directional dynamics of a re-entry vehicle. High performance robust gain-scheduling missile autopilots have also been designed with the tools developed at Leicester.
For more information please contact Dr Emmanuel Prempain.