Railway Infrastructure Health Monitoring Using Wireless Sensor Networks

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Addis Ababa University


The continuous miniaturization process of computing devices featuring wireless technologies influences our everyday life. With the popularity of laptops, cell phones, PDAs, GPS devices, RFID, and intelligent electronics in the post-PC era, computing devices have become cheaper, more mobile, more distributed, and more pervasive in daily life. The emergence of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is essentially the latest trend of Moore's Law toward the miniaturization and ubiquity of computing devices. Wireless Sensor Networks are composed of devices of reduced size, self-powered and with wireless transmission capabilities. Because of these features this technology has been recognized as promising for a large variety of monitoring and surveillance applications. In this thesis, we presented the details of an application that makes use of WSNs to monitor railway infrastructures. The WSN collects information about the structural health and behavior of the infrastructure when a train travels along it and relays the readings to a base station. The base station uses the next train as a data carrier to upload the information. The use of a train as a data carrier is especially suitable to collect information from remote or inaccessible places which do not have a direct connection to the internet. We have implemented a railway infrastructure monitoring application and its application specific routing protocol on top of TinyOS operating system using nesC programming. We have also implemented data management method to make sure the sampled data is being stored for later purpose We have evaluated the performance of our application through simulation using COOJA simulator on TelosB sensor nodes. COOJA is the default simulator for Contiki operating system which can be used for TinyOS applications. Finally, we demonstrated the feasibility of our application and routing protocol. The experiment showed encouraging results. Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks, critical infrastructure protection, infrastructure health monitoring, Railway Infrastructure Monitoring, Sensors, Routing Protocol, Simulation



Wireless Sensor Networks, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Health Monitoring, Railway Infrastructure Monitoring, Sensors, Routing Protocol, Simulatio