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Vol. 14-2, Special Issue, March 2012, pp.93-110




Self-Powered Intelligent Sensor Node Concept for Monitoring of Road and Traffic Conditions


Sebastian Strache, Ralf Wunderlich and Stefan Heinen

Chair of Integrated Analog Circuits and RF Systems, RWTH Aachen University,
 Templergraben 55, 52062, Germany

Tel.: +49 241-80 27746, fax +49 241-80 22199

E-mail: ias@rwth-aachen.de



Received: 15 November 2011   /Accepted: 20 December 2011   /Published: 12 March 2012

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: A promising approach for future road construction is based on a surface, which is manufactured in a production plant and can be unrolled on a conventional basis. This paper deals with an idea of making the road “intelligent” by integrating a net of sensor nodes. Equipped with acceleration sensors these systems can detect the actual traffic situation. With the knowledge of the exact position and velocity of each car a driver assistance system is able to find the fastest route or provide exact and reliable warnings to prevent e.g. accidents at the end of traffic jams. This paper describes the main idea of a low cost, energy harvesting sensor node containing a MEMS accelerometer with a frontend, a processing unit, a photovoltaic energy harvesting power supply and a wireless communication link. Measurements show that the detection of passing vehicles using structure borne sound and MEMS accelerometers is feasible. Furthermore the described functionality can be integrated into a size of less than 2.45 cm ´ 2.45 cm x 1 cm and each senor node can be operated stand alone.


Keywords: Road construction, Intelligent road, MEMS, Energy harvesting, Sensor node


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