Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Energy Analysis in Deploying Wireless Sensor Networks for On-Board Real-Time Railcar Status Monitoring

[+] Author Affiliations
Sushanta Mohan Rakshit, Michael Hempel, Pradhumna Shrestha, Fahimeh Rezaei, Hamid Sharif

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE

John Punwani, Monique Stewart

United States Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Paper No. JRC2015-5765, pp. V001T03A005; 9 pages
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • San Jose, California, USA, March 23–26, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5645-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Wireless Sensor Networks have been a focus of research in the North American freight railroad industry to enable on-board real-time sensing of critical railcar parameters. Important railcar aspects like wheel bearing temperature, air pressure, brake failure, and the integrity of transported goods can then be monitored closely and reliably. This enables immediate preventive actions in case of impending failures and also enables trend analysis that can be used to fine-tune maintenance efforts on railcars. These measures increase the safety, efficiency, and dependability of freight railroad operations.

In our previous work [1–3] we have presented our Hybrid Technology Networking (HTN) protocol. This protocol provides optimal network performance for railcar monitoring applications. We have also presented HTNMote, a hardware prototyping platform that implements HTN. A deployment of HTNMotes was conducted and evaluated at the TTCI facility in Pueblo, Colorado in the US. The results from our field tests confirm that this approach is an order of magnitude better in performance compared to solutions based on ZigBee alone.

In such an application, energy considerations represent a key challenge. These sensors have no readily available continuous energy source, but are expected to operate for years in harsh conditions. Energy harvesting — from vibrations, temperature differences, or solar radiation — may provide a potential solution to the energy scarcity. This also mandates that the HTNMote hardware and HTN protocol both be as energy efficient as possible.

In this paper we present detailed measurements of the energy consumed by the HTNMote in various operational situations that are encountered during their operation onboard freight railcars. We introduce an energy consumption model based on our analysis of the measurements. This model demonstrates the energy-efficiency of the HTNMote implementation.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In