Scene Assembly Tool – 3D Bridge Design
Combining GPS and GIS technology with 3D
computer modelling, Niagara College has developed a Scene Assembly Tool (SAT)
for rapid bridge design. Until now, creating 3D objects has impeded the
design process because of the intimate knowledge required to use modelling
software. SAT provides a database of pre‐made 3D bridge parts and models and
a GUI that allows road planning professionals to “drag and drop” sections of
bridges and highways into their plans. Engineers can also exchange different
elements within an object, such as individual elements of a bridge, saving
countless hours of work and cost.
PrAgMatic: Precision Agriculture Data Management System
Niagara College is in the process of
developing and implementing a computer‐aided agriculture management system.
The goal of this support system, PrAgMatic, is to collect, assemble in a
database and display data such as weather, soil types, drainage and disease
forecasts. Web access to the database will display all relevant data in
real‐time. The latest in remote sensing technology, 3D visualization,
wireless technology and the ongoing advances with GPS and GIS will ultimately
allow a grower to access crop management information from a mobile device.
This project provides agricultural growers and managers with unprecedented
management practices, enabling cost reductions while increasing crop quality
and yield in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Convergent Telecom – Mobile Trip Reporting
Niagara College is working in
partnership with Convergent Telecom to help businesses track travel expenses.
The solution is being developed for handheld devices by integrating GPS
technology which will log an individual’s time and distance traveled. Upon
arrival at any destination, a report can be sent to the company office for
review saving the employee valuable time normally spent on tabulating travel
costs. The application will aid those who divide their time between multiple
work sites to monitor their travel related expenses. It could help large companies
with many employees using mobile devices keep track of who is on the premises
and when they arrive or leave—virtually eliminating the need for time cards.
Remote Gas Sensing Camera UAV
Sulphur Dioxide, S02, is one of the
culprits causing acid rain. Sources emitting the gas into the earth’s
atmosphere include volcanoes and human contributions such as vehicle exhaust,
factory emissions and power generation. Niagara College’s Photonics
Engineering Technology program has developed a process using a video camera
to capture S02 and have attached that camera to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV). Previously, geologists would have to set up stationary detection units
when measuring a volcano’s S02 output, but now researchers have the freedom
to gather real‐time S02 data from the air. With the UAV, a far more
comprehensive image of S02 patterns can be captured.
Wireless Sensor Network
Agriculture will get a boost in
production thanks to techniques being refined at Niagara College by students
in the Computer Programmer and electronics
Technician programs. Wireless sensors are being placed in fields, and farmers
can access the environmental information gathered by the sensors in real
time, helping them make important crop management decisions. The system is
being designed as a reliable, low cost, expandable structure. The weather‐proof
system is designed to be easy to set up and provide long range capability for
larger production sites (up to 10kms). Farmers will be able to get a highly
accurate, localized picture of the micro‐climatic factors affecting their
Laser Applications in Greenhouse
Disease in a greenhouse can spread from
plant to plant during traditional pruning with metal shears. Photonics
Engineering and Horticultural Technician faculty and students at Niagara
College are testing the application of lasers for pruning purposes. The goal
is to combine lasers, which cut and cauterize plant tissue very effectively,
with a robotic system that will automatically prune greenhouse plants.
Students have found the ideal laser intensity and wavelength to safely trim
various greenhouse plants without spreading disease from infected
plants. The result is significant
reduction in plant loss from transfer of disease.