Wireless charging | Testing unmanned aerial systems | OSU & quantum technology
August 12, 2021
A CHAT WITH AN INNOVATOR
The world's first wireless charging highway segment
Scott Manning, INDOT deputy chief of staff
As electric vehicles become more widely used, the demand for reliable, convenient charging infrastructure continues to grow.
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Purdue University have announced plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment.
Flyover Future spoke with Scott Manning, deputy chief of staff at INDOT, about the project’s origins and what it hopes to accomplish.
How did the project come about?
Manning: Our Commissioner, Joe McGuinness was appointed by Governor Holcomb in January of 2017. Joe placed an emphasis on forward thinking with the state of our infrastructure. He tasked INDOT with updating our highway system so that we are prepared for evolution, as it relates to emerging technologies in the automotive sector.
Electric vehicles are obviously a big component of that, as well as connected and autonomous vehicles. From day one, Joe pushed the agency to look at how we could get our infrastructure ready for wide-scale adoption of all of those. One of the results was the project with Purdue on the viability of actually electrifying highways to allow for the charging of vehicles, which includes how magnet wireless charging tech integrates with concrete.
“There's already a lot of interest in this research with partners in the freight truck sector, automotive sector, and manufacturing side. They’re really interested in seeing what we find as we go through this project."
— Scott Manning, INDOT
Why was Purdue chosen for the project?
Manning: With the expertise and resources at the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue has a lot of interest in this technology. Purdue also operates our Joint Transportation Research Program. So there's a lot of ongoing research that they do on behalf of INDOT that benefits not only us but also other states around the country and other partners in the transportation and infrastructure space. They were a natural partner, and I know they are as excited as we are to be on the leading edge of this.
What will the research involve?
Manning: At a high level, the research will take place in three phases. The first will be in a laboratory setting, and then we’ll transition to a closed environment for limited segment length testing, using a limited number of very specific vehicle types. The third and final phase will be deploying this on an actual public highway — taking the technology and what we've learned and actually embedding it into the pavement along an interstate or major state highway. That will give us a lot of insight into how this technology works with 50 to 100,000 vehicles, from passenger cars to 80,000-lb trucks to oversize overweight trucks a day traveling over it.
We’ll learn how it performs in four very distinct seasons, and how it does in a cold weather freeze/thaw and in a hot humid summer. So we're really excited to reach that final phase where we really can get a sense of canvas work and how it would work in a real-world setting.
What’s the timeframe for the project?
Manning: We’re estimating — and it could change as we get further into the research — about 4 years and probably 2-3 years until we get to the start of that final phase. It’ll be kind of a long-term project; however, that makes sense being that this is the first of its kind.
It must be exciting to be on the forefront of this technology.
Manning: It is. There's already a lot of interest in this research with partners in the freight truck sector, automotive sector and manufacturing side. They’re really interested in seeing what we find as we go through this project.
[Stay tuned. Flyover Future will be running an interview with the Purdue engineers behind the project in a future issue.]
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FEATURED TECH EVENT
With TALK Louisville and TechFest
Create enthusiasm for future technology leaders
at TechFest Louisville, Aug. 26-27
TALK will host high school teachers interested in implementing cybersecurity curricula with a session on Teach Cyber. This FREE event at Spalding University, “Why Cybersecurity Matters,” runs both Thursday, Aug. 26 & Friday, Aug. 27 (4PM-7PM). A dinner is included onsite for qualified high school teachers attending. Click here to register and find additional details.
TechGirlz, in partnership with TALK, is offering STEAM professional development for middle school teachers and tech professionals interested in teaching tech coursework to middle school girls. Join Alicia Park, National Outreach Manager at TechGirlz, as she reviews the nonprofit and their TechShopz in a Box program (Thursday, Aug. 26 between 4PM & 5PM). Click here to register and find additional details.
Rad Science Skateboard Build
TALK will also host a Rad Science Skateboard Build in conjunction with Marwood Veneer at the University of Louisville Engineering Garage. This course that takes place over 2 half-days, Aug. 27-28. All participants will build a working skateboard. The 2021 Techfest Louisville Skateboard Build Instructor is Topher Paterno who is a designer, maker, teacher, skater, and presently teaches Tech Ed and Robotics at Gunston Middle School in Arlington,VA. Click here to register and find additional details.
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Esri opening an office at T-REX
ST. LOUIS, MO—California-based geographic information system software company Esri will open an office within the Geospatial Innovation Center at T-REX. Esri will provide qualifying startups in the center with access to cutting-edge ArcGIS Developers tools and services at no cost. The center is the next step in St. Louis's move toward geospatial ingenuity and development.
Testing unmanned aerial systems
RICHFIELD, OH—A project administered by Parallax Advanced Research on behalf of the Ohio Department of Higher Education has successfully tested the first flight of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The 20-minute flight was aimed at overcoming the challenges of weight, transient peak power demands, flight endurance, system integration and UAS structural design.
New institutes with a focus on AI
FLYOVER—The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the establishment of 11 new NSF National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes that will focus on AI-based technologies. The combined investment of $220 million expands the reach of these institutes to include a total of 37 states.
Rolls-Royce opens testing facilities
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN—Rolls-Royce will be expanding its footprint at Purdue University with the construction of three new testing facilities for high-altitude and hybrid-electric engines. The company already has facilities focusing on digital engine controls and conducts advanced technology engine research at the university’s Zucrow Propulsion Labs.
Research hub for quantum technology
COLUMBUS, OH—The Ohio State University has joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange, an intellectual hub for the research and development of quantum technology. Their work will prepare a quantum-ready workforce that can meet the existing and growing demand across the communications, optics, computing and materials industries.
Graphene as a battery replacement
MANHATTAN, KS—Research conducted at Kansas State University shows the strong potential of using graphene (a 2D form of graphite) to print supercapacitors that could one day replace batteries. Graphene is only one atom thick and is estimated to hundreds of times stronger than steel while being more flexible.
Kentucky's growing innovation economy
LOUISVILLE, KY—Innovation is an essential driver of economic progress. This is why Kentucky is taking a purposeful approach to enhancing its innovation economy. Louisville Future spoke with Anthony Ellis, general counsel at Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and executive director of KY Innovation, about the state's approach.
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FUELING THE FUTURE
What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.
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NAME THAT FLYOVER CITY!
It's time for our favorite trivia game!
This week’s theme is quirky and fun. We’re going to name some flyover attractions, and you tell us the cities in which they’re located. Here are the questions:
Click here for today’s answers.
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