Carnegie Mellon University
AIS Research Facilities

AIS Research Facilities

The AIS group looks to improve the performance and reduce the life-cycle cost of a broad range of physical infrastructure systems through:

  • sensing, information modeling, advanced analytics and visualization for the construction, operation and maintenance phases of infrastructure systems
  • new models, methods and tools for planning, design, project management and facility/infrastructure management; and
  • developing more sustainable processes and components that can be used in the built infrastructure.

IBM Smarter Infrastructure Laboratories

The IBM Smarter Infrastructure Laboratories complex (Porter A17) includes three separate facilities: the Advanced Visualization Lab, Smarter Infrastructure Analytics Lab and the Collaboration Lab. These facilities are supported by the IBM Cloud, which provides high-powered computing and massive amounts of data storage resources; and an extensive amount of advanced software used to support data collection and advanced data analysis.

Advanced Visualization Lab 

The Advanced Visualization Lab has been used for various ongoing funded projects to test visualization approaches under immersive settings. The lab is equipped with high tech software and hardware for a wide range of studies related to data/information visualization, virtual world development and model displays related to AIS research projects.

Students using the Advanced Visualization Lab

The facility also includes a high tech CAVE (Computer Automated Virtual Environment) composed of three 6’x4.5’ 3D stereo rear projection screens, approximately 30 stereo glasses, a head mounted and a hand held motion tracking tool and 8 tracking cameras as well as software development kits and visualization software. The CAVE provides virtual, three-dimensional images of buildings, bridges, HVAC systems, or other infrastructure systems, real or imagined.

Smarter Infrastructure Analytics Laboratory 

The Smarter Infrastructure Analytics Laboratory is partly virtual and partly physical. The physical lab space contains six high-performance computers from which students and researchers can access a set of eight dedicated servers donated by IBM (two running Windows 7 64-bit, one running Windows Server 2008, and four running RedHat Linux). This room can also be used to host small meetings and hands-on training sessions.

Collaboration Laboratory

The Collaboration Lab, part of the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab, is a 15-person videoconference facility that can connect to additional videoconferencing sites through a Tandberg Videoconferencing Bridge. Two 60 inch diagonal LCD monitors are mounted at the front of the room, movable video cameras are placed at the front and back. The room also houses an integrated microphone and sound system, and flexible furniture to support both classroom and conference modes. The room can be used for small seminars, videoconferences, PhD student exams, and in-person meetings.

Smart Infrastructure Monitoring Laboratory

Testing in the Smart Infrastructure Monitoring LaboratoryThe Smart Infrastructure Monitoring Lab (Porter Hall A4A) supports research and provides space for simulations in the monitoring of infrastructure systems. The lab allows students to explore damage diagnosis as well as the ways temperatures and conditions affect the dynamic characteristics of various infrastructure systems, and works to further the AIS mission of proactive data-driven infrastructure construction and maintenance. The lab is equipped with scientific engineering software from LabView and contains a variety of test equipment, including high-speed data acquisition systems and sensors. The lab also houses instrumented pipes and a research model that allows students to simulate the data capture of a controlled vehicle’s movement across a bridge.

Energy Systems Laboratory

The Energy Systems Lab (Porter Hall A4A) is equipped with data acquisition hardware and software, a purposely-built electricity distribution panel, and a variety of residential and small commercial electrical appliances. All instrumentation is used to develop algorithms that allow researchers to manage, understand, and predict electrical usage in buildings. The lab supports a variety of projects revolving around energy management.