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Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL)

NATSRL is located on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota.
(maps and directions)


Eil Kwon is the director of the NATSRL Program.

Located on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota, the Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories is a research program developed in a collaborative effort by the ITS Institute, the Center for Transportation Studies, and Duluth university staff. NATSRL researches comprehensive winter transportation systems and the transportation needs of cities in small urban areas.

A printable Fact Sheet on NATSRL is also available (52 KB PDF).

Research Areas

Research at NATSRL covers a wide range of topics, including visual and electronic sensors, transportation data management, and inventory management of transportation infrastructure. The laboratories collaborate with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 1, as well as city and county engineers and the university research community to address transportation-related needs, especially those that are specific to northern areas and climates.


NATSRL's initial laboratories are the Advanced Sensor Research Laboratory and the Transportation Data Research Laboratory.

The Advanced Sensor Research Laboratory has facilities in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) as well as an off-campus field laboratory where newly developed or existing transportation sensors can be installed and evaluated. Goals of this lab include development and testing of advanced sensing technologies for pavement and road conditions (speed, traction, and traffic density); development of new techniques to detect incidents and abnormal traffic conditions; and real-world analysis and real-time measurements of road, weather, and traffic information using a test facility constructed along I-35 south of Duluth.

The Transportation Data Research Laboratory is housed in the ECE department laboratory facilities, and receives project support and lab space within the Industrial Engineering department in the areas of human factors and operations management. This laboratory will work toward development of a statewide traffic data archival and analysis system, development of an automatic inventory management system for transportation infrastructure, and design of efficient management strategies for small urban and large-scale event traffic flow using modern visualization and management tools.

Administration & Faculty

Faculty and research staff conducting ITS-related research for NATSRL include the following:

University of Minnesota Duluth, College of Science and Engineering

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Civil Engineering

Computer Science

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering