TSensors for Environment and Social Infrastructure: Monitoring of Disasters and Aging Infrastructure
Japan has been encountering problems of aging society, aging infrastructure and sustainable environment as a front runner in the world in its position of finding out the solution. Out of those issues, this presentation is focused on measures with sensors to ensure safety and security in the environment and social infrastructure so that people may enjoy their comfortable life without fear. There have occurred many accidents and disasters all over the world which demonstrate the need of sensor monitoring systems for prevention and mitigation of disasters essential for resilient environment as well as effective preventive maintenance of aging social infrastructures like bridges, roads, tunnels, grounds and houses/buildings.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, landslides, etc. between 1994 and 2014 claimed 1.35 million lives. The cost of global natural disasters since 2000 was about $3 trillion. Economic loss in the US alone due to aging infrastructure like roads, bridges, buildings, etc. between 2014 and 2020 is estimated at $1.1 trillion. Maintenance cost of aging infrastructure in Japan is to be increased by 50% from 2013 to 2023.
Global monitoring of all these threats is the foundation for deployment of preventive measures. There is an estimation presented at the TSensors Summit last year for the need of 1.3 trillion sensors by 2025 to support the emerging global monitoring needs. For such monitoring, large number of existing sensor types could be used, provided their cost would support a trillion node deployment. Those sensors include accelerometers, strain meters, inclinometers, optical fibers, imaging, AE, etc. to monitor vibration, acceleration, temperature, humidity, illuminance, oxygen and carbon dioxide, gas content, fire, etc. New sensor types such as printed electronics/sensors will be needed to support new requirements for huge number of low cost sensors.
In Japan, the national initiative has been promoting implementation of sensor monitoring systems for environment and social infrastructure and various projects are in place today. Those projects will bring lots of opportunities for sensor monitoring systems to be applied in the next few years.
The key challenges would be that implementation models of sensor monitoring systems for disasters and aging infrastructure should be shared by advanced countries like US, Europe and Japan facing common issues and that the verified models should be transferred to developing countries to avoid duplication of encountering the same problems. New sensors are also required to specific disasters like landslides in those regions. Finally, incentive for funding to be provided by governments and industries is essential because of the public nature.