Commenced in January 2007
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An E-Maintenance IoT Sensor Node Designed for Fleets of Diverse Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Authors: George Charkoftakis, Panagiotis Liosatos, Nicolas-Alexander Tatlas, Dimitrios Goustouridis, Stelios M. Potirakis

Abstract:

E-maintenance is a relatively recent concept, generally referring to maintenance management by monitoring assets over the Internet. One of the key links in the chain of an e-maintenance system is data acquisition and transmission. Specifically for the case of a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles, where the main challenge is the diversity of the vehicles and vehicle-embedded self-diagnostic/reporting technologies, the design of the data acquisition and transmission unit is a demanding task. This is clear if one takes into account that a heavy-vehicles fleet assortment may range from vehicles with only a limited number of analog sensors monitored by dashboard light indicators and gauges to vehicles with plethora of sensors monitored by a vehicle computer producing digital reporting. The present work proposes an adaptable internet of things (IoT) sensor node that is capable of addressing this challenge. The proposed sensor node architecture is based on the increasingly popular single-board computer – expansion boards approach. In the proposed solution, the expansion boards undertake the tasks of position identification, cellular connectivity, connectivity to the vehicle computer, and connectivity to analog and digital sensors by means of a specially targeted design of expansion board. Specifically, the latter offers a number of adaptability features to cope with the diverse sensor types employed in different vehicles. In standard mode, the IoT sensor node communicates to the data center through cellular network, transmitting all digital/digitized sensor data, IoT device identity and position. Moreover, the proposed IoT sensor node offers connectivity, through WiFi and an appropriate application, to smart phones or tablets allowing the registration of additional vehicle- and driver-specific information and these data are also forwarded to the data center. All control and communication tasks of the IoT sensor node are performed by dedicated firmware.

Keywords: IoT sensor nodes, e-maintenance, single-board computers, sensor expansion boards, on-board diagnostics

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