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55 CHAPTER 4 Conclusions and Recommendations 4.1 Conclusions that are primarily not associated with transportation. It cap- tured the perspectives of a wide range of Hazmat transpor- 4.1.1 Context tation and technology subject matter experts, including Hazmat transportation stakeholders want to know more representatives of regulatory and compliance organizations, about which technologies are emerging, how these technolo- security agencies, academics, national laboratories, research gies can affect their interests, what they will be capable of consulting organizations, carriers, manufacturers, shippers, doing, and when they will become available. Addressing those environmental protection agencies, emergency responders, points has been the objective of this project. and technology providers. To put this issue into the proper context, it is important to Once this information was compiled, a multi-step method- reflect on a statement noted in Section 2.2, "Currently, imple- ology was implemented that resulted in screening and down- mentation of technologies within the supply chain is pre- selecting from a large number of potential technologies to a dominantly based on the expectation of return on investment smaller number of candidates to the few most promising. The (ROI) within a supply chain context. In the for-profit sector, methodology was based on assessment of functional require- if a technology will not increase efficiencies, reduce costs, or ments and application of a gap analysis. Initial results were pre- provide a competitive advantage, generally it is not voluntar- sented to the HMCRP Project 04 panel and also received a peer ily implemented." As a result, a primary factor influencing review. A few modifications were made to the candidate list, technology deployment is the need for a demonstrated busi- resulting in selection of the nine most promising emerging ness case for the Hazmat transportation industry to invest technology areas. The team identified and interviewed technol- more in technologies that enhance safety and security. These ogy developers to obtain a more in-depth understanding of opportunities generally seem to arise when a business case can each of the areas. be made for technology deployment that is based on cost sav- The result of this engagement was summarized in a series of ings, yet safety and security benefits accrue as well. An exam- narratives and comprehensive tables that captured the charac- ple of this relationship is recent research that indicates the teristics, relevance, status, and outlook for maturity of technol- emerging use of sensors may provide major benefits to trans- ogy area products in both the near and far terms. A graphic portation efficiency (1); use of sensors clearly offers safety and roadmap was prepared, showing the comparative progress of security benefits as well. product development in each technology area. Collectively, it is intended for this material to help transportation profession- Safety and security considerations may become a more als and other stakeholders, who are users of technologies, gain prominent driver when motivated by rulemaking or voluntary a better understanding of the most promising emerging tech- efforts in response to other circumstances. One of the tech- nologies that could enhance the safety and security of Hazmat nology developers noted that "There is always an unwilling- transportation. This knowledge can help these stakeholders ness to adopt new technologies without some forcing make more informed decisions about technology investments. function . . . often a regulation or requirement." 4.1.3 Lessons Learned 4.1.2 Research Process 4.1.3.1 Research Approach The research involved examining more than 1,000 leads on developing technologies. It included contacts with sources The team made certain assumptions to help formulate a outside the United States and investigation of technologies systematic methodological approach. This process produced

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56 a logical framework with which to screen and select the most manner. It could also indicate that in today's world of rapid promising emerging technologies. The framework was also technology change, planning too far in the future may simply somewhat "modular" in that if a certain criterion in the selec- be too risky. Many modern technologies were not planned tion process was found to have received more or less empha- 1115 years in advance and external risks abound, including sis than it should have in light of more recent findings, the new being overtaken by more agile competitors. information could be incorporated. A case in point was where it was discovered that one of the technologies selected had 4.1.3.4 Technology Interaction substantially passed into the product stage, while a peer review and other evidence suggested that another group of technolo- The interaction of the most promising emerging technolo- gies had more compelling traits than originally recognized. gies with other technologies is markedly positive. The alterna- The methodology developed to identify a small number of tive power generation technology group is the most prominent emerging technology areas proved to be effective in screening example, because it involves working with other technologies a large number of technologies and selecting the most promis- and may even be the reason those technologies can be used for ing from the many that were considered. The process encom- certain applications. The representative technologies of wire- passed factors such as multiple transportation modes; differing less power, nanopiezoelectronics and plastic thin-film solar needs such as protection, detection, and mitigation; and a tech- cells will be able to supply power to sensors, communications, nology's ability to benefit safety or security or both as well as and other devices. That supply promises to enable electronic other operational factors. devices for safety and security to exist in places and under con- It was not difficult to identify developers of the technology ditions that would not have been feasible before. Working in areas selected in this research, but it was challenging to obtain conjunction with ongoing miniaturization developments (e.g., interviews with many of them. While some developers talked MEMS/NEMS), alternative power generation can make possi- freely of their plans and progress, others were more guarded, ble more remote monitoring, whether on non-powered vehi- especially in terms of capital investments made or needed. cles such as railcars and barges, or with infrastructure such as Many conveyed the sense that the timing of the developing pipelines. Batteries can be smaller and their replacement much product's arrival in the marketplace was dependent on invest- less frequent or even unnecessary. ments as well as technology breakthroughs, such as with larger- One of the advanced locks and seals technologies is the best scale manufacturing. illustration of the flexibility of systems to work together. Its Some of the caveats to the technology developer interview secure platform concept provides for integration of sensors process (outlined in Section 3.2) also represent lessons learned. such as magnetic, glass break, passive IR, IR breakbeam, bal- For example, within a technology area with multiple develop- ance magnetic switch, fiber-optic receiver, fiber-optic loop, ing products, the level of readiness and maturity of individual vibration, and microwave, with a communications protocol technology products can and does vary. that can support hardwire and RF. The only potentially negative interaction among the tech- nologies that came to the team's attention is with RFID. A 4.1.3.2 Technology Overlap variety of RFID technologies are available, differing in the fre- There is clearly some overlap between capabilities of certain quencies at which they operate and the type of tag which is technology areas. Photonic technology underlies plastic thin- queried. These characteristics, in turn, affect power require- film organic solar cells as well as photonic/fiber-optic sensors. ments, read range, and suitability for various environments. Advanced seals and locks may use RFID to communicate a Because RFID systems operate in shared frequency bands, they non-standard condition, and RFID systems may communi- are susceptible to interference generated by other wireless cate with each other in sensor networking. Fiber-optics is used systems. Most systems operate at one of the following fre- as a sensor to detect chemicals in one technology area and as quencies: 125 kHz (LF), 13.56 MHz (HF), 900 MHz (UHF), a seal in another. Nanowire technology is used to detect chem- or 2.4 GHz. Active tags contain a power source (e.g., battery) ical, biological, and radiological threats as well as being an and permit higher read ranges and lower reader power. Pas- underlying technology of nanopiezoelectronics. sive tags, on the other hand, draw power from the incident electromagnetic waves of the reader and consequently are lower in cost. RFID systems operating at 900 MHz UHF with 4.1.3.3 Far Horizon passive tags are commonly used (43). Use of RFID devices can No developing technologies were identified that appear to be limited in some types of facilities such as nuclear plants. be maturing in the 1115 year horizon. This perhaps indicates Plastic thin-film organic solar cells need to be adhered or the motivation that developmental organizations, especially laminated to other technologies, so development efforts are companies, have to bring technologies to maturity in a timely required in most cases to incorporate the product into other

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57 technologies. Also, the product must have an electrical con- new chemical detection sensor system to enhance safety in the nection which may require development efforts depending area by alerting emergency responders to and providing criti- on the application. These are not impediments to reaching cal information on chemicals detected. This system is intended the marketplace, but rather an additional step in commercial- to be integrated with a Port Area Waterside Video Surveillance izing the product. System (PAWVSS) that provides live camera feeds from a large, well-known bay leading to the port (44). One concern with this technology area is false positive read- 4.1.4 Where and How Could the Most ings, which are often a problem with any new sensing tech- Promising Emerging Technologies nology. For example, if a sensor on a TIH railcar falsely reports in the Monitoring and Surveillance a leak or other dangerous condition, the financial cost of stop- Group Be Used? ping the train with all its in-transit cargo to check the prob- Some sensors such as RFID can be networked; active RFID lem can be substantial. Depending on the train's location, it chips enable networking because they have two-way commu- could even prompt an unnecessary evacuation. Advances are nications capability. The concept of ubiquitous sensors is that moving this technology area toward better performance. of a networked system in which sensors in proximity can trans- Fiber-optic/photonic sensors and optical scanners have a mit information about their environment to one another. range of capabilities and promise for not only vehicle and cargo Ubiquitous RFID would involve the combination of tags, monitoring, but also infrastructure, such as identifying the readers, communications, and processing capability. Mesh type and concentration of toxic gas in a tunnel or the degree networking is a type of local area network (LAN) that allows of movement of bridge support structures. Fiber-optic sensors information to be independently routed to reach a destination. and the more expensive optical scanners can read a variety of In an example of a system with networked RFID, ubiqui- conditions. Fiber-optic line is recognized for the quantity and tous sensors and cargo monitoring, a truck with Hazmat quality of data transmitted, and fiber-optic sensors can also cargo could have the condition of its cargo (perhaps even work with wireless transmission. These have particular value its bill of lading information) remotely and automatically in tunnels where neither satellite nor terrestrial communica- monitored when it passes by a roadside transponder. An out- tions associated with GPL/GLS may work. This technology of-normal condition detected with the Hazmat cargo would area shares the same concern with false positive readings as generate an alert. Mesh networking with ubiquitous sensing noted in the pressure gauges and chemical detection sensors could allow an abnormal condition with cargo on a certain technology area. truck to be detected and reported by other trucks at a rest Advanced locks and seals are examples of some of the most area. Mesh networking with ubiquitous sensing offers advan- flexible integration of different technologies found in the tages in reliability and redundancy but at greater cost. There research. A wide range of technologies can work together to are also privacy issues; the transportation industry tends to provide automated monitoring and alerting for high value closely hold proprietary information such as customer bases. cargo, which may be passing through remote sites. Imple- RFID has limited range. The railroads' Automatic Equip- mentation of the most advanced systems in this technology ment Identification (AEI) system reads RFID tags on virtually area, used for nuclear material management, is currently expen- every railcar and locomotive from a few feet away to provide sive although less expensive components can sometimes suf- Car Location Messaging (CLM) data. In other applications, fice. However, the concept has promise for offering some of RFID tags can use battery power to boost read ranges out to the most secure access protection using sophisticated encryp- 100 meters and beyond. For long-range communication of tion techniques with low life cycle cost sealing materials. information detected by RFID, information is usually reported Intelligent video tracking and surveillance builds on the via the terrestrial or satellite communications associated with proliferation of CCTV and other cameras. The development GPS/GLS systems on trucks, railcars, or barges. is not so much in the cameras as in the software that can work Pressure gauges and chemical detection sensors are with legacy cameras to detect objects left on a scene or removed, increasingly able to detect leaks of specific transported Hazmat detect certain behaviors, and track people or vehicles. The such as chlorine as well as out-of-normal temperature and technology can be used for any mode in which security and pressure readings that can signify problems for many types access control are needed. In a more advanced version, cam- of cargo. In the future, these sensors will be able to determine eras along highways or Interstates in a HTUA could track a chemical composition of Hazmat, chemical agents, and even Hazmat vehicle of interest; for example, its image could be biological agents. This category of sensors can be used with any handed off from camera to camera as it moves along a belt- of the transportation modes, whether for tanks, casks, smaller way equipped with traffic cameras. The PAWVSS mentioned containers, or pipelines. Recently, it was announced that a in the pressure gauges and chemical detection sensors tech- port city in the northeastern United States plans to install a nology area would appear to be a candidate for a potential