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A networked infrastructure marks our world that ensures global communication, energy supply, transport of goods and mobility of people. Quality control and assurance of such infrastructures play an enormous role due to the system-critical significance and versatility of large natural, e.g. slopes, forest areas, and artificial structures, like roads, railroad tracks, power lines, and fibre optic cables. This is even more so due to the increasing age of existing (artificial) elements, e.g. transport infrastructure.

The costs for infrastructure preservation are enormous. A continuous, extensive and precise monitoring could reduce these costs. Such monitoring is the only way to ensure sustainable operation or utilization of these large structures. That is why the strategy for the future must be intelligent and, if possible, multi-dimensional monitoring, including all phases of a large structure’s life cycle.

The research and development goals of the professorship comprise three major areas:

Inspektion künstlicher und natürlicher Objekte

1. Inspection of artificial and natural objects ©Schmitt

The inspection of artificial and natural objects with a focus on researching new sensor concepts and corresponding implementation. This area focuses on optical sensors such as laser scanners, cameras, etc.

Datenanalyse und -interpretation (c)Fraunhofer IPM

2. Data analysis and interpretation ©Fraunhofer IPM

Data analysis and interpretation with a focus on researching new approaches to linking influence parameters, causes and measured changes. This area focuses on methods in the area of self-learning algorithms.

3. Development and implementation of complete systems and processes ©Wudtke/Fraunhofer IPM
The development and implementation of complete systems and processes, ranging from sensors to data interpretation tools and defining the role of humans as final decision-makers. This area focuses on novel approaches to system design (e.g. distributed sensors) and data fusion.