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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092948

A Flexible Wireless Sensor Network Based on Ultra-Wide Band Technology for Ground Instability Monitoring

1
Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
2
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, via La Pira 4, 50121 Florence, Italy
3
National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), via della Faggiola 32, 56126 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

An innovative wireless sensor network (WSN) based on Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology for 3D accurate superficial monitoring of ground deformations, as landslides and subsidence, is proposed. The system has been designed and developed as part of an European Life+ project, called Wi-GIM (Wireless Sensor Network for Ground Instability Monitoring). The details of the architecture, the localization via wireless technology and data processing protocols are described. The flexibility and accuracy achieved by the UWB two-way ranging technique is analysed and compared with the traditional systems, such as robotic total stations (RTSs) and Ground-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (GB-InSAR), highlighting the pros and cons of the UWB solution to detect the surface movements. An extensive field trial campaign allows the validation of the system and the analysis of its sensitivity to different factors (e.g., sensor nodes inter-visibility, effects of the temperature, etc.). The Wi-GIM system represents a promising solution for landslide monitoring and it can be adopted in combination with traditional systems or as an alternative in areas where the available resources are inadequate. The versatility, easy/fast deployment and cost-effectiveness, together with good accuracy, make the Wi-GIM system a possible solution for municipalities that cannot afford expensive/complex systems to monitor potential landslides in their territory. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ultra-Wide Band; wireless sensor networks; monitoring; warning system; ground instability; landslide; time of flight; two-way ranging Ultra-Wide Band; wireless sensor networks; monitoring; warning system; ground instability; landslide; time of flight; two-way ranging
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Mucchi, L.; Jayousi, S.; Martinelli, A.; Caputo, S.; Intrieri, E.; Gigli, G.; Gracchi, T.; Mugnai, F.; Favalli, M.; Fornaciai, A.; Nannipieri, L. A Flexible Wireless Sensor Network Based on Ultra-Wide Band Technology for Ground Instability Monitoring. Sensors 2018, 18, 2948.

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