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Sensors and Controls

Sensors & Controls are essential technologies that monitor and enhance the various plant components leading to improved infrastructure and reduce operations and maintenance costs. Sensors can be placed across the plant and can measure the different characteristics such as temperature, pressure, fluid composition, and the state of materials to inform operators of plant health.

Research Areas:

  • Harsh Environment Sensors
  • Advanced Controls
  • Cybersecurity
  • Robotic Inspection

Harsh Environment Sensors

SensorCreates novel sensor concepts that can be embedded into sever plant components using advanced manufacturing techniques. Designs and produces cost-effective prototype technologies that can be rapidly reproduced for wide distribution. Sensors provide the ability to monitor plant components and transmit data to a distributed network that aims to increase plant efficiency and reliability.


Advanced Controls

ControlsDistributed control networks process sensor data to permit decision-making. Develops systems with fast dynamics for nonsteady-state and incorporates controls that are capable of handling systems that are inherently non-linear using real-time data. Distributed control networks allowed for increased control of the power plant and is more robust than linear model predictive control algorithms. 




Sensors & controls can be placed throughout the plant to monitor processes and improve plant reliability and efficiency. Example of existing challenges can be seen below.

Sensors Control Plant
Cross-section of John W. Turk Jr. USC Plant. Courtesy of Babcock & Wilcox. All rights reserved.


Technology area contact:

Briggs White

HQ Program Manager:

Robie Lewis