Laboratory and Field Experiments

WISeNet trainees are required to complete a research experience in one of the following areas:

The experience consists of a laboratory or field experiment chosen from the WISeNet menu (link to heading below), and conducted over a period of approximately 10 weeks at Duke or at a partner institution.  To fulfill this requirement, trainees must submit a research proposal for one or more experiments of interest to the program coordinator . Each primary point of contact (PoC) is in charge of recruiting and supervising trainees at the experiment site. The experimental research and findings constitute a key, integral component of the trainee's dissertation and 3SVS/DiVE projects.

Proposal Submission Deadlines

Fall Proposal Window: 
September 15, 2012 – November 15, 2012 
September 15 – November 15, Annually Thereafter

Spring Proposal Window:  
January 15, 2013 – March 15, 2013
January 15, 2013 – March 15, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Submission Process

All WISeNet trainees are eligible to apply and be considered for one or more experiments listed in the WISeNet menu .  Proposals should be submitted in PDF to the program coordinator via email within one of the proposal windows.  A separate proposal must be submitted for each experiment of interest and includes the following:

1. Project Summary

The project summary is limited to one-page and should include the following:

  • Title of proposed research
  • WISeNet experiment applying for
  • Trainee’s name
  • Summary of proposed research activity

The summary should not be an abstract of the proposal, but rather a short description of the activity that would occur if the proposal is approved. The summary should be written in the third person and include a statement of objectives and methods to be utilized. It must clearly address in separate statements (within the one-page summary):

  • the intellectual merit of the proposed research activity; and
  • the broader impacts resulting from the proposed research activity.

It should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields and understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader.

2. Project Description

The project description is limited to five-pages and should include the following:

  • Title of proposed research
  • WISeNet experiment applying for
  • Vision and Goals
  • Approach and Methodology for proposed research activity
  • Description of the research plan in the context of one or more WISeNet focus areas: (1) environmental sensing and prediction, (2) guidance and control of mobile sensor networks, and (3) biologically-inspired intelligent sensor systems
  • A description of how the proposed work matches the WISeNet goals and themes
  • Impact
  • Interdisciplinary nature of the proposed research activity
  • References

3. Biographical Sketch

The biographical sketch is limited to two-pages and should include the following:

  • Education
  • Positions held
  • Selected publications
  • Selected honors and awards
  • Selected synergistic and outreach activities
  • Selected collaborations and other affiliations

Proposal Formatting

The proposal must be clear, legible, and meet the following formatting requirements:

1. Please use one of the following fonts:

  • Arial, Courier New, or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger;
  • Times New Roman at a font size of 11 points or larger; or
  • Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger.

A font size of less than 10 points may be used for mathematical formulas or equations, figure, table or diagram captions and when using a Symbol font to insert Greek letters or special characters.

2. Margins, in all directions, must be at least an inch.

3. Single or double-spacing may be used, however, page limits must be adhered to.

4. Pages must be numbered.

Proposal Evaluation Process

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the technical project description;
  2. The trainee’s qualifications; and
  3. How well the proposed work matches the WISeNet goals and themes.

The program coordinator will forward all proposals to the PoC after each proposal window closes. Decisions will be communicated by December 15, for the fall window, and by April 15, for the spring window. Successful applicants will receive a monthly stipend, travel and living expenses, for the entire duration of the project.

Experiments in Environmental Science

Distributed sensing is crucial to understanding environmental change, and to protecting the health of humans.  WISeNet trainees involved in the “environmental science” experiments apply emerging theoretical and computational tools for optimally collecting and assimilating sensor observations into distributed environmental forecasting models, and utilizing them for intelligent decision making.  Also, trainees have the opportunity to apply sensor modeling, prediction, navigation and control methods to sensing problems on climate change, water quality, and drought monitoring and prediction.

Available Experiments:

  1. Aforestation, Climate Change Mitigation and Prediction
  2. Monitoring Effects of Human and Natural Forcings of Critical Zone Dynamics and Evolution
  3. Geospatial Monitoring of Air Quality and Pollutants
  4. Sea-level Rise Mitigation and Adaptation Measures
  5. Modeling and Prediction of Climate Impacts on Snow and Ice
  6. Drought Monitoring and Prediction in Semiarid Climates

Experiments in Engineering and Computer Science

Unmanned ground, aerial, and underwater vehicles equipped with on-board wireless sensors are becoming crucial to both civilian and military applications because of their ability to replace or assist humans in carrying out dangerous yet vital missions.  As they are often required to operate in unstructured and uncertain environments, these mobile sensor networks must be adaptive and reconfigurable, and decide future actions intelligently based on the sensor measurements and environmental information.  WISeNet trainees involved in engineering and computer science experiments develop and validate interdisciplinary methods for sensor guidance, coordination, and control, and for biologically-inspired sensor fusion, learning, and adaptation.

Available Experiments:

  1. Intelligent Sensing and Control for Automotive Human Machine Interface
  2. Integrated Sensor Path Planning and Control
  3. Undersea Monitoring and Surveillance
  4. Robotic Saccadic Adaptation and Visually-guided Auditory Plasticity
  5. Implementing Neuro-Inspired Computing for Sensing and Information Processing
  6. Radar Inspired Ultra Low-power Communication for Sensors
  7. Intelligent Robotic Games