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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7048141, 8 pages
Research Article

A WSN-Based Intrusion Alarm System to Improve Safety in Road Work Zones

Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica, ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 19 February 2016; Revised 3 May 2016; Accepted 12 May 2016

Academic Editor: Jong-Jae Lee

Copyright © 2016 Jose Martin et al. 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.


Road traffic accidents are one of the main causes of death and disability worldwide. Workers responsible for maintaining and repairing roadways are especially prone to suffer these events, given their exceptional exposure to traffic. Since these actuations usually coexist with regular traffic, an errant driver can easily intrude the work area and provoke a collision. Some authors have proposed mechanisms aimed at detecting breaches in the work zone perimeter and alerting workers, which are collectively called intrusion alarm systems. However, they have several limitations and have not yet fulfilled the necessities of these scenarios. In this paper, we propose a new intrusion alarm system based on a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Our system is comprised of two main elements: vehicle detectors that form a virtual barrier and detect perimeter breaches by means of an ultrasonic beam and individual warning devices that transmit alerts to the workers. All these elements have a wireless communication interface and form a network that covers the whole work area. This network is in charge of transmitting and routing the alarms and coordinates the behavior of the system. We have tested our solution under real conditions with satisfactory results.