November 5th, 2012 | Published in Research
Wireless sensor networks are well suited for supervising conditions in various environments. When used in rail cargo for continuous monitoring of freight wagons, the results can provide many benefits for the operator, such as train sequence monitoring, monitoring of unusual events that may lead to accidents or estimation of optimal service points. The main challenges for WSNs in this scenario are an unfavorable radio channel as wagons are basically steel boxes as well as the requirement of minimum to zero maintenance with sensor lifetimes of several years. The accurate monitoring of position and state of freight wagons is a challenging application for wireless sensor networks (WSN). The owner of a freight wagon has limited impact on the exact travel route or on the order and composition of wagons in a train. Wagons might be re-coupled several times before the final destination is reached and wagons of several owners become mixed in trains. Therefore, an adaptive wireless solution is required. The Projekt Intelligenter Güterwagon (PIG) is about evaluating the use of WSN technology in a freight train environment. Before such benefits are available channel measurements have to be taken to find the basic operation conditions of a wireless sensor network (WSN), and a WSN has to be designed, implemented and verified.
Wireless sensor networks, Wake-up on radio, Ultra low power communication protocol