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Smart Urban Water Systems - A signal processing and communication perspective

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Abstract: The lives of billions of people around the world are supported by urban water supply systems (UWS). However, these systems are aging and suffer from inefficiencies and in many major cities worldwide, UWS leak 20-30% of their water at an annual cost of billion of dollars. Methods for improving the efficiency and sustainability of UWS however are still in their infancy and there is significant requirements for further developments and breakthroughs. These methods are becoming known as Smart Urban Water Systems and a feature of smart water research is its interdisciplinary nature and its requirement for expertise from many areas including civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. In this talk we focus on the signal processing and communication challenges to diagnose leakage and defects in UWS . Our goal is to “turn the light on” so that the buried and relatively inaccessible pipe systems are illuminated by actively generated acoustic waves that travel in the fluid in the pipe and to electronically capture wave echoes. In this talk I will summarize our efforts to measure and characterize the water pipe acoustic channel as well as highlight key techniques needed to process signals for the inverse methods required for detecting pipe leaks and defects.

Biography: Ross Murch is a Chair Professor in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). His current research interests include the Internet-of-Things, underwater acoustics and antenna design and his unique expertise lies in his combination of knowledge from both wireless communication systems and electromagnetic areas. His research contributions include more than 200 publications and 20 patents on wireless communication systems and antennas and these have attracted over 10,000 citations. He was Department Head at HKUST from 2009-2015, is an IEEE Fellow and has won several awards including the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) University Publication Award in 2015. He received his Bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is currently on sabbatical for 12 months and is visiting Imperial College London, MIT and University of Canterbury.

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