The complex nature of our society is exhibited in the level of automation that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Within critical infrastructure, as this level of automation has grown, so have the interdependences between individual sectors. Without considering these interdependences from a holistic standpoint, stabilities and efficiencies cannot be optimized to provide the desired global minima. Intelligent automation research can lead to methods that account for these tight couplings, and engender new mechanisms by which we can couple multiple processes to ensure the safest and most efficient manner of production. INL researchers are designing and developing predictive and advanced automation mechanisms in existing test facilities, whose concepts will be applied to next generation hybrid energy production designs.
Facilities and Capabilities - INL has existing and planned test beds at which researchers can test theories, designs or prototypes in intelligent automation, and a long history of developing understanding of process patterns and associated control techniques.
Researchers - INL has a research team whose focus is targeted toward condition based maintenance, prognostics, diagnostics and predicative control. The lab’s team of expert control system engineers possesses an understanding of the complexity of industrial processes and the techniques that can be used to prevent unexpected failures.
Accomplishments - INL researchers have published numerous technical papers and reports for in the area of prognostics, diagnostics, condition-based maintenance and related technologies. Several technologies and systems have been developed to monitor, characterize and respond to failures within infrastructure.