UWB is a radio technology that can use a very low energy level for short-range, high-bandwidth communications over a large portion of the radio spectrum. There are two major uses of the UWB protocol. The primary functionality is as a communications system, allowing remote, intelligent infrastructure units to transmit data, results, or alerts from other sensor systems to a control centre or framework. The capacity for range measurements and to work as a real-time localisation system forms a secondary capability for UWB systems.
Our approachAs an example of how UWB communications could be used with remote sensors, we are working towards a remote vibration sensor. Possible specific applications could include
- looking for unusual or increased vibration in aging infrastructure (for example, access covers), as an aid to maintenance;
- monitoring the stability and solidity of, for example, overhead gantries; or
- detect (and characterise) impacts between vehicles and fixed infrastructure such as crash barriers.