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access icon free Field operational testing for safety improvement of freight trains using wireless monitoring by sensor network

Today, the majority of wagon failures on railroad systems are because of the poor maintenance of ball bearings, which causes emergent stops and delays. The existing stationary detectors, lack in predicting failures which cause troubles in scheduling maintenance. During the fall of 2011, a trial was performed by applying a wireless sensor network (WSN) aboard a train wagon with the objective to demonstrate a proof of concept for monitoring the temperature of ball bearings aboard the train wagon. This trial investigates several key aspects when applying sensor networks such as radio wave propagation, energy scavenging and performance of the WSN aboard the wagon. Two wireless links were used in the WSN. The aboard network communicates at 2.45 GHz, and the external communication is an 868 MHz radio frequency identification radio link. Since the energy in the WSN node is limited, appropriate energy scavenging devices are also presented and evaluated in a lab environment. Effort has been made to overcome these problems. The energy consumption in the network is still a problem; the most promising energy scavenging technique is piezoelectric harvesting by vibrations, which in the experiments scavenged 2.32 mW.

http://iet.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1049/iet-wss.2013.0048
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content/journals/10.1049/iet-wss.2013.0048
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