Sensing, Tracking, and Measurement
Advanced sensors and sensor networks will revolutionize manufacturing by providing industry the tools necessary to understand and optimize efficiency and lower operational costs. ORNL's research priorities in sensing are focused on biochemical, environmental, robotics, advanced logistics and process control systems, and intelligent sensor technologies for applications that advance science, improve energy efficiency, or enhance national security.
Robust wireless communication networks offer rapid technology insertion and minimum cost of retrofit for reliable process control to improve energy savings, process efficiencies, and raw material utilization. From one-of-a-kind processes to intelligent robotics for manufacturing, the development and deployment of process automation and control are critical for productivity improvement in industry. ORNL leads the industry effort to establish wireless communication protocols and demonstrate the application of high-payoff wireless communication in industrial settings.
Achieving energy-efficient processing will require the reduction and integration of process steps, development of alternative low-temperature pathways, and development of entirely new processes and unit operations. New processes will also provide opportunities for the development of novel materials with unique properties to enhance the performance of existing products or create entirely new markets.