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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary study of low-cost GPS receivers for time synchronization of wireless sensors
Author(s): R. Kim; T. Nagayama; H. Jo; B. F. Spencer
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 83451A (3 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915394
Show Author Affiliations
R. Kim, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
T. Nagayama, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
H. Jo, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
B. F. Spencer, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8345:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Jerome P. Lynch, Editor(s)

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