Advanced Infrastructure Maintenance TechnologyNTT Device Technology Laboratories

    Technologies for Predicting Material Degradation and Detecting Structural Deterioration to Support Telecommunications Infrastructure


    We are developing "prediction technology of material deterioration" by understanding material degradation phenomena and pursuing analytical technology, and "detection technology of structural deterioration" by advancing technologies for electromagnetic sensing and utilizing machine learning, for various infrastructure facilities including telecommunications infrastructure. These technologies predict their deterioration and life and detect abnormalities、for equipment and structures that could not be visually confirmed.

    Background and existing issues

    Telecommunications infrastructure facilities are located in various outdoor environments throughout Japan. Among these facilities there are some that cannot be visually inspected, for example those situated underground, underwater or in high places. In addition, deterioration inside concrete and other structures cannot be seen visually.
    A method to find the deterioration level of these types of telecommunications infrastructure equipment and structures is required to maintain the safety and reliability of telecommunications infrastructure.

    Advantages of this technology

    • Material degradation prediction technology estimates the degradation and service life of equipment that is not visible by focusing on the materials that make up telecommunications infrastructure equipment and analyzing and modeling their degradation phenomena.
    • The use of facility data and installation environment data to predict material deterioration means that direct measurement or inspecting equipment is not required, and contributes to improving the operational efficiency of maintenance and inspection while ensuring safety.
    • The detection technologies of ground-penetrating radars, etc. that use more sensitive, higher-resolution electromagnetic sensing technology allow the user to accurately locate underground and in-structure objects, thereby contributing to more efficient inspections, maintenance and renovation work.
    • New passive waveguide sensors, which utilize electromagnetic waves, help streamline the maintenance and inspection of equipment that is difficult to visually inspect due to a large number of blind spots.

    Use Scenes

    • It enables efficient inspection and repair planning based on the estimated degree of deterioration of steel equipment.
    • For concrete poles in which hydrogen embrittlement of internal reinforcing bars is a concern, the hydrogen embrittlement life of reinforcing bars is estimated to realize optimum maintenance according to the life.
    • By accurately knowing the location of underground structures prior to underground construction, we can minimize the construction area while avoiding other underground structures, thereby reducing the risk and increasing the efficiency of construction work.
    • The combination of passive sensors and drones automates the inspection of equipment with many blind spots, reducing the risk and increasing the efficiency of maintenance operations.

    Explanatory chart

    Department in charge

    NTT Device Technology Laboratories - Social Device Technology Laboratory

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