UNT mechanical engineers receive seed grant for autonomous vehicle sensor research

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 09:47

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Three University of North Texas faculty members are working on a project to use embedded fiber optical sensing for autonomous vehicles to increase day-to-day tracking of a variety of measurements.

Maurizio Manzo and Hector Siller in the College of Engineering, along with Abdulrahman Habib in the College of Science, were selected by UNT’s Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research as one of four teams to receive a seed grant.

Their research aims to use fiber optic sensors attached to autonomous vehicles, or drones, to help with day-to-day tracking and monitoring of a number of environmental factors. They also plan to evaluate machine learning techniques to help optimize the integration of the sensors.

“These sensors would make it possible for autonomous vehicles to help detect pollution levels, monitor traffic or help locate contaminants or chemical substances in emergency situations,” said Manzo, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The team also plans to demonstrate the project to the Army Research Laboratory as part of the next-generation Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems initiative.

The seed funding comes as part of the new Center for Integrated Intelligent Mobility Systems initiative, which is a collaborative research unit at UNT focused on integrated intelligent mobility systems such as connected and autonomous vehicle research.

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Trista Moxley