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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R000212/1
Title: Hybrid QT system for visualisation of buried utility assets (Qvision)
Principal Investigator: Metje, Dr N
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Civil Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 March 2017 Ends: 31 October 2017 Value (£): 27,202
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Information Technologies
Technical Consultancy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Qvision is a feasibility study to investigate the market potential of incorporating Quantum Technology gravitational sensors with OXEMS' integrated solution, thus enabling utility customers to access and visualise a significantly larger proportions of their network rapidly whilst retaining many of the unique advantages of the OXEMS solution. Promising results from previous studies indicate technical superiority exhibited by QT gravity sensor over classical gravitational sensors. It is expected that QT gravitational sensors would overcome the inherent issue of speed of rollout of the current OXEMS system (which relies upon physical tag deployment).

OXEMS has developed a unique integrated solution offering virtualization of buried assets provided they have been located and tagged with the company's unique tags. However, utilities currently only expose ~1% of their networks annually, limiting companies like OXEMS to tag assets and extend the cloud-based digitization of underground assets. Thus, it will take over 100 years to tag an entire network. Although OXEMS' product focuses on attaching tags to buried pipelines, its product range includes the visualisation of the network for their utility customers together with some asset properties.

Therefore, the proposed study is a collaborative venture between OXEMS, and the UoB to investigate the feasibility of adding information from QT gravitational sensors to OXEMS' integrated solution, thus enabling utility customers to access and visualize a significantly larger proportion of their network, including in particular parts not tagged so far, to deploy a single solution across their networks. If successful this integration will add value to QT gravity data, increase the uptake by the utility industry and accelerate the roll-out of OXEMS' integrated system. To achieve this, we will:1) Investigate the use and quality of data sourced from QT gravity sensors in the underground asset management market (is it accurate and precise enough for visualisation?); 2) Compare this data with existing data on tagged assets to understand the extent it can be used in the market and to identify any gaps (can it be used to help overall market objectives?); 3) Create a software based demonstration to illustrate to clients the benefits gravitation sensors would deliver (likely to be an enhanced version of the current OXEMS app and database); 4) Investigate with clients the viability of deploying QT gravity sensors in street works in the future and develop a commercial model for such deployment; 5) Comparison of gravity sensor data output with traditional Ground Penetrating Radar; 6) Investigate how gravity sensors and data produced would be integrated with existing asset management data; 7) Create a full market forecast of deploying QT gravity sensors integrated with OXEMS tags including the impact of global deployment on the UK economy.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk