Decision Support Systems
Faculty Lead: Roger Lew
Roger is an assistant research professor and holds a Master's in Human Factors Psychology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. His research focuses on problem-solving and applying design thinking to 21st Century challenges related to energy and climate change. This includes human factors for nuclear energy for carbon-free energy and decision support systems for ecological systems.
View Roger's profile.
INL Automated Work Packages
The United States has an aging fleet of Nuclear Power Plants whose instrumentation is mostly analog. Digitizing instrumentation can be expensive, requires relicensing with the NRC and can increase cybersecurity risks. The ability to digitize analog gauges provides a means of recording and monitoring plant parameters that would otherwise require error-prone and expensive human resources. Work by Roger Lew and his team resulted in a provisional patent and a patent application in November 2020. In FY21, they will be working with a simulation vendor and a nuclear utility to implement a proof-of-concept system for a main control room.
INL Integrated Energy Systems
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is developing hydrogen production systems that use nuclear thermal and electric energy during peak generation of renewables when other power generators need to curtail output. In FY20, Roger Lew and his team developed a set of procedures and a prototype human machine interface for operating the thermal power extraction system of a nuclear power/hydrogen production integrated energy system. In FY21, the Rancor Nuclear Power Plant Microworld Simulator will be coupled to a small scale test loop at INL. Roger's role is to adapt the Rancor Microworld for hardware-in-the-loop testing to virtualize the operation of a small modular reactor and a turbine/generator. Steffen Werner is iterating the HMI and performing usability testing with student operators.
WEPPcloud is an online platform for catchment scale hydrological and erosion modeling. The platform uses publicly available datasets to automate watersheds' parameterization from an online interface and performs hydrological models using the mechanistic Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP). The interface has coverage across the contiguous United States, Europe and Australia and is used by Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response teams to evaluate post-fire erosion risks and model mitigations. The interface is also used by FEMA to assess downstream fire impact to communities and municipal watershed utilities as a planning tool for fire scenarios. In collaboration with Swansea University (UK) an ash transport model is now available which can estimate water- and wind-driven ash transport as well as pollutant loading into bodies of water.
RangeSAT is an online interface for rangeland management which uses LandSAT imagery to estimate biomass from empirically-derived locally fitted models. In FY21, Roger Lew and an interdisciplinary team including Jason Karl, Vincent Jansen and Jen Hinds, are applying framework to estimate residual crop cover in Whitman County in Washington.