Walking on the Engineering III side of Bainer Hall today, I noticed an area roped off for a “laser detection test.” What?
It turns out that the Integrated Engineering Lab is testing a laser-based vehicle detection system for measuring traffic on highways. Harry Cheng, professor in mechanical and aeronautical engineering, says that the system uses a laser to get a profile of passing vehicles. It is more reliable than current systems that use loops in the road, he says, and unlike video cameras works well in low light conditions. Development of the device was funded by CalTrans.
For more about the Integrated Engineering Lab, look here. For more mechanical engineering projects in transportation, see the Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology web site.