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ASU industry research consortium poised to expand

August 18, 2010

Industry to benefit from SenSIP center’s new partnership with Texas research universities and National Science Foundation support

Opportunities will expand for industry members of one of the research consortiums in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The Sensor, Signal and Information Processing center and consortium – known as SenSIP – has earned designation as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Collaborative Research Center.

The achievement elevates SenSIP to a partnership with a similar consortium of four leading Texas research universities.

“Our five industry members will benefit not only from our discoveries but also from the results of all the research projects” housed by the Texas Net Centric consortium and its nine or so industry partners, said SenSIP Director Andreas Spanias, a professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

SenSIP’s work focuses on technologies used in digital signal processing systems, data mining, wireless communications, information networks and multimedia systems.

The Net Centric consortium specializes in computer science and software solutions to ensure the security of information and communications networks – which are employed extensively in national defense operations.

“Our varied research strengths and areas of expertise are going to complement each other,” Spanias said. “That launches opportunities to compete for major research projects.”

SenSIP’s members include leading companies in the high-tech, defense, aerospace and communications industries, such as Intel, Lockheed Martin, National Instruments, Raytheon Missile Systems and Acoustic Technologies.

Spanias says a SenSIP membership agreement with LG communications is in final stages of negotiation, and several comparable corporations are considering membership in the consortium, including Sprint Communications, Qualcomm, and General Dynamics.

Net Centric is made up of research leaders at the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Texas-Arlington. Its industry members include Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, Boeing, Cisco Systems, T-Systems, Codekko and GlobeRanger, among others.

“Our alliance with Net Centric gives our members access to potential advances in a broader array of emerging technologies,” Spanias said.

SenSIP offers extensive expertise in signal and information analysis, information extraction from wireless sensor networks, multimedia communications and networks, low power systems, and video and audio signal processing.

The consortium researchers have provided the mathematical and algorithmic groundwork for technology used in security systems, consumer electronics, medicine and health care, computer software systems, media technology, nanotechnology research, environmental management, defense applications, global positioning systems and antenna systems.

They have contributed, for instance, to development of tools and devices for the improved performance of cell phones, radar systems, global positioning and mapping, and radio communication networks.

A recent project involves experimenting with sensing devices in efforts to improve the efficiency and productivity of technologies used to generate electrical energy from sunlight.

Net Centric’s researchers are working on advances in the specifications, modeling, analysis, design, implementation, verification and validation, testing, and deployment of information and communication networks.

More than 13 ASU engineering faculty members – primarily electrical and computer engineers – form the core group of SenSIP researchers. The consortium’s move into an NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center promises to enable the group to branch out in its research endeavors. That will likely allow it to tap the expertise of ASU bioengineers, medical researchers and experts in other areas of science and engineering.

The NSF will provide SenSIP $300,000 in the next five years to bolster its administrative resources. The consortium has the task of raising additional support of at least $750,000 from industry partners to expand its work.

SenSIP is one of six similar NSF university/industry collaborative centers in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Others are:

• Consortium for Embedded Systems (hardware and software design of single and multicore processors for computers)
• Water and Environmental Technology Center (water quality research)
• Power Systems Engineering Research Center (power systems and the “smart” energy grid)
• Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution (distribution, transportation, manufacturing, information technologies and software solutions) 
• Connection One (telecommunications circuit and system technologies)


Andreas Spanias,
professor, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
(480) 965-1837

Joe Kullman,
(480) 965-8122 direct line
(480) 773-1364 mobile
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering