This article originally appeared in Global Construction Review, July 2019.
Monitum, a Brisbane company of surveyors and geologists, has teamed up with researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to research how the Internet of Things (IoT) and new satellite monitoring sensing can help big infrastructure projects.
The 18-month project titled “Mthing” [launched as Kurloo] will use advanced Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signal processing techniques to record near-real time measurements of infrastructure projects that will be both more accurate and faster than using traditional manual measuring techniques.
The project aims to develop GNSS IoT sensors for cheaper and more precise project monitoring that will connect to cloud services and provide instant alerts.
They say the cost of precision sensors now restricts their use, so the aim is give them greater market potential.
Monitum Principle and Director Lee Hellen said the research, by preventing unforeseen downtime, could save the construction industry millions of dollars in lost productivity.
“Australia is seen as a global leader in measurement, engineering and construction knowledge,” he said.
“However Australian construction projects have become increasing more expensive to build and maintain and are growingly reliant on imported technology products and manufacturing to deliver agile and lean processes.
“Our research collaboration is invested in manufacturing a globally competitive monitoring IOT sensor system that will provide new opportunities for building and maintaining infrastructure in Australia.”
QUT research leader Professor Yanming Feng said connected GNSS with embedded intelligence and data analytics offered effective solutions to many industry challenges.
“QUT is pioneering the research in this direction and we are pleased to explore research in this field with the Mthing collaboration project,” Professor Feng said.
IMCRC chief executive David Chuter said effective monitoring of civil structures required breaking new ground in technology, processes and services.
“The Internet of Things has opened up new possibilities for Australia’s manufacturing and construction industry – collecting, analysing and incorporating infrastructure information into practical applications and services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of infrastructure design and construction projects,” Chuter said.
“The Mthing project explores these possibilities and creates, with its next generation of cost-effective GNSS IoT solution, new avenues for other Australian construction and manufacturing businesses to investigate and adopt IoT into their operations to future-proof and ensure sustained commercial outcomes for their business – both locally and through export.”