Transmission power control for wireless sensor networks in railway applications

J. B. Hughes, G. D. Horler, E. P C Morris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Wireless Sensor Networks are becoming increasingly utilised in the railway industry to facilitate the physical and environmental monitoring of railway assets; in order to optimise operational, maintenance and refurbishment activities. With significant energy constraints imposed on the networked devices, there is a growing need to optimise wireless communications through energy-efficient algorithms and protocols. This paper presents the challenges and opportunities of using a variable transmission power control mechanism in railway environments, under the typical constraints of wireless sensor networks. Extensive empirical results presented in this paper show that radio communication link quality in railway environments is significantly influenced by spatial and temporal factors, and that every link is influenced to a different degree. This phenomena highlights that current wireless sensor network standards, that use a fixed transmission power, do not represent the dynamics of communication quality and thus, result in communications that has poor energy efficiency or reliability. Through profiling the power consumption of the radio hardware under different test conditions, this paper determines that previous theories about the limited impact of transmission power control do not hold, thus concluding that there are significant opportunities for a variable transmission power control mechanism in railway wireless sensor networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781905088652
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance - Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
Duration: 5 Apr 20168 Apr 2016
Conference number: 3
http://www.civil-comp.com/conf/rw2016/rw2016.htm (Link to Conference Website)

Publication series

NameCivil-Comp Proceedings
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
Volume110
ISSN (Print)1759-3433

Conference

ConferenceThe Third International Conference on Railway Technology
Abbreviated titleCCP
CountryItaly
CitySardinia
Period5/04/168/04/16
Internet address

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Hughes, J. B., Horler, G. D., & Morris, E. P. C. (2016). Transmission power control for wireless sensor networks in railway applications. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance [294] (Civil-Comp Proceedings; Vol. 110). Civil-Comp Press. https://doi.org/10.4203/ccp.110.294