University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

EE Profs. Bhanu, Roy Chowdhury receive $250K NSF award

EE Profs. Bhanu, Roy Chowdhury receive $250K NSF award

Electrical Engineering Professor Bir Bhanu received a new NSF award, Outdoor Video Sensor Laboratory, in collaboration with co-PIs Chinya Ravishankar (Associate Dean, Bourns College of Engineering) and Amit Roy Chowdhury (Professor, Electrical Engineering). The proposed collaborative project on Outdoor Video Sensor Network Laboratory develops a new laboratory and conducts research in video understanding and related technologies in a wireless network environment, and will bring $250,000 to UCR.

While research into large-scale sensor networks is being carried out for various applications, the idea of massive video sensor networks consisting of stationary and moving cameras connected over a wireless network has been largely unexplored. Wireless video sensor networks are necessary for a number of life-critical applications such as surveillance for homeland security, scene analysis of disaster zones for coordinating rescue efforts, wildlife monitoring and the entertainment industry. Wireless sensor networks have the crucial advantage of mobility and ease of installation of sensors, but suffer from power and bandwidth constraints. Video processing and transmission require large amounts of computing power and transmission bandwidth. Therefore, in order to realize the potential of wireless video sensor networks in improving our quality of life through the above-mentioned applications, a synergistic approach that combines the requirements of the applications with the available communication network resources in a seamless manner, needs to be adopted.

The proposed laboratory provides a state-of-the-art facility for conducting research into this very important area. It consists of 80 pan-tilt-zoom video cameras that can be accessed over the network using an IP address. Each camera is connected to a computational unit that takes care of local processing at the sensor node. It identifies the data in the video sequence relevant for a particular application, which is then compressed and transmitted. This object-based distributed compression scheme significantly reduces the bandwidth requirement from the network. In order to save battery power at the sensors, a triggering mechanism based on acoustic, seismic and vibration sensors is used. Using a few infrared sensors to supplement the data provided by the color video cameras performs diurnal scene analysis. Some of the sensors are fixed and powered by connecting to an electrical outlet, while the mobile ones are powered from solar energy.

The proposed facility would be first-of-its-kind in the nation and would bring together researchers from various engineering disciplines at UCR. It will provide research in a number of areas, namely computer vision, video communications, wireless networking, security, signal processing, information theory, machine learning, databases, etc., leading to a vibrant inter-disciplinary research effort. The facility will provide a test-bed for many ongoing research projects and provide opportunities for future research collaborations with educational, industrial and government institutions. Students would have experience working in a unique laboratory, thus gaining valuable expertise for their future careers.

More in News

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Suite 343 Winston Chung Hall
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521-0429

Tel: (951) 827-2484
Fax: (951) 827-2425
E-mail: E-mail/Questions