Internet of Things Moisture Sensors
Existing sensors that are deployed at a few locations across the network do not provide a cost-effective solution, as they use expensive datalogging and comms equipment. The IoT approach significantly reduces this cost by providing a low-power sensor embedded in an existing communications mesh. Using these moisture measurements would cost less than £200 per site, enabling the measurement of moisture levels at a higher level of granularity.
Being able to monitor low levels of moisture is important for the validation of forecasts and to understand the current condition of the network to support real-time decision making. The data being gathered on the Birmingham Cross-City line is currently supporting several adhesion related projects, and has demonstrated the value that having more granular coverage of sensors across the network provides.
Following the deployment of a total of 30 IoT moisture sensors built by the University of Birmingham and fitted on the cross-city line in Birmingham, there has been ongoing discussion with Network Rail to fit additional sensors on LNW South Route and with TfL.