Preliminary study of low-cost GPS receivers for time synchronization of wireless sensor networks

R. Kim, T. Nagayama, H. Jo, B F Spencer

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

Abstract

Growing public concern regarding the health of the aging civil infrastructure has spurred research in structural health monitoring (SHM). Recent advances in wireless smart sensor (WSS) technology has significantly lowered the cost of SHM systems and resulted in WSS being successfully implemented at full-scale. However, assuring accurate timesynchronized WSS nodes in a network is still a challenging problem. Generally, WSS synchronization is realized by communicating a sensors' CPU clock information over the network. However, such a synchronization approach becomes more challenging as the network size increases. Reliable communication is not easily achieved due to longer communication distance, larger numbers of sensors, and complexity of a distributed sensor network. Moreover, CPU clocks may not be sufficiently reliable for accurate time-synchronization due to substantial tolerance errors in crystal and/or temperature effects. In this study, the use of low-cost GPS receivers for time synchronizing WSSs is explored to resolve these issues. GPS sensors offer the potential to provide high-accuracy synchronization - nano-second level even with low-cost GPS receivers. The GPS-assisted time synchronization approach overcomes network communication limitations to realize time-synchronization in large-scale networks of WSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012
DOIs
StatePublished - May 22 2012
EventSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 12 2012Mar 15 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume8345
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period3/12/123/15/12

Keywords

  • Low-cost GPS
  • Structural Health Monitoring
  • Time synchronization
  • Wireless sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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