The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure doesn’t paint a rosy picture. Energy received a D+ and our rail system received a C+. These are grades most people would not be happy to bring home.
It’s evident that technology exists today that will help our country’s infrastructure rise above mediocrity and be there for those of us who depend on it daily. QinetiQ North America (QNA) has turned to its rich heritage of R&D successes and capabilities to do something about it.
ASCE’s report states that, “while demand for electricity has remained level, the availability of energy in the form of electricity, natural gas and oil will become a greater challenge after 2020 as the population increases.” With these demands and new sources of energy coming on line – including solar and wind power – systems such as QNA’s LineWatch™ are needed to help utilities respond to shifting loads, either to pull in more power in times of high demand or cut back during non-peak periods.
QNA’s LineWatch is a collection of electrical power distribution grid monitoring systems that provide utilities with highly accurate real-time data on voltage, current, power factor and other key power line conditions. These systems are designed to support any communications platform to send the data back to the utility operation center and address multiple smart grid applications, including distribution automation, fault detection, asset management, volt/var optimization and revenue assurance.
ASCE reports that, while our rails are aging, both freight and passenger rail companies have been investing heavily in their tracks, bridges and tunnels, as well as adding new capacity for freight and passengers. QNA’s Intelligent Rail Integrity System, or IRIS™, innovations help protect these new investments and ensure companies can handle more freight and passengers that will be hitting the rails.
IRIS is a network of wireless sensors that continuously monitor rail temperature and rail neutral temperature (RNT) while simultaneously providing constant monitoring for track-lateral buckling or winter rail break. With a web-based user interface for data analysis and presentation, IRIS helps prioritize maintenance and predicts short-term and long-term problems of track integrity.