Publications / 2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia

Experimental Study of Wireless Sensor Networks forIndoor Construction Operations

Magdy Ibrahim, Osama Moselhi
Pages 805-812 (2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-646-59711-9, ISSN 2413-5844)

Emerging wireless sensor networks (WSN) technology offers a great potential in supporting current project management practices. Deploying wireless sensor networks on construction sites can lead to significant time and cost savings by providing accurate and near-real time data to project management personnel. Continuous monitoring of labor usage, materials placement and equipment performance provides valuable data for assessing progress of construction operations and assists in improving safety and security on job sites. Construction activities take place in outdoor and indoor environments, while Global Positioning System (GPS) is ideal solution for tracking outdoor activities; it is not applicable for indoor application due to the lack of line-of-sight to satellites signals. Therefore, GPS-less means of tracking is required in indoor environments. While several research efforts had been attempted to develop indoor positioning systems utilizing various wireless technologies, there is no clear understanding of which wireless technology performs better in indoor construction environment. This research aims to experiment and test wireless technologies to aid the selection of wireless sensor networks configuration in support of current practice of progress tracking at construction on job sites. This paper describes experimental study conducted to determine the effectiveness of wireless technologies for dynamic indoor resource position tracking. The experiments investigate the challenges of wireless technologies applications in indoor environments, in particular, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), Bluetooth, Zigbee and Synapse SNAP. A total of 21 experiments were carried out and 1752 data sets were analyzed. The results showed that Synapse SNAP out-performed all other technologies. The findings of this study are expected to provide a reference for future research on selection of indoor positioning technologies.

Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks, Progress tracking, Indoor positioning