The National Consortia on Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST) were
established in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT),
Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), in response to
legislation in TEA-21. Four university-led consortia were set up, in
Environment, Infrastructure, Traffic Flows and Hazards. UCSB led the
Consortium on Infrastructure, partnering with Digital Geographic
Research Corporation (DGRC), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa
University, TetraTech Inc, OrbImage, Florida DOT and the University of
The SAFETEA-LU bill of 2005 re-authorized funding for the program.
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) advertised
the new remote sensing program in 2006, and created seven consortia:
freight congestion mitigation, three in infrastructure rehabilitation,
and one in environment.
UCSB led the consortium on
More than 40% of containerized imports to the U.S. enter through the
ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, creating vulnerabilities in logistics,
security and environment quality. Freight volume is forecast to triple
over the next three decades.
The consortium's research centers on MeTrIS, a Metropolitan
Transportation Information System being developed by DGRC. This rich
data stream enables a
variety of synoptic information products and models, both real-time and
longitudinal. UCSB and partners documented spatial patterns of truck
traffic, and developed optimization and
microsimulation models aimed at reducing unproductive intermodal trips
empty container hauls). Our target was to achieve a 10% traffic
reduction of truck trips in the study area—demonstrated by modeling.
The project had the support and active cooperation of the freight
industry. A commercialization component explored the market for
data to sustain public-good operations.
Consultation and Outreach
The goal of the NCRST program is to develop commercially viable
space-based technologies. We welcome consultation and outreach