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The WSN Monitoring System for Large Outdoor

Advertising Boards Based on ZigBee and
MEMS Sensor
Haonan Wang, Linxi Dong, Wei Wei, Wen-Sheng Zhao, Member, IEEE,
Kuiwen Xu, Member, IEEE, and Gaofeng Wang, Senior Member, IEEE

 to track, in real time, the condition of outdoor advertising

Abstract—With the increase of large outdoor advertising boards. However, at present, monitoring outdoor advertising
boards, the issues of public safety raised by the collapse of outdoor
advertising boards have attracted great public concern. In this
boards mainly relies on the common manual inspection and
paper, a wireless sensor network (WSN) monitoring system is video surveillance carried out by the relevant government de-
designed for the structural health monitoring (SHM) of large partments. It is evident that the tilt risk cannot be effectively
outdoor advertising boards. By using the WSN technology, this identified at the earlier stage only by these visual inspection and
system can judge the security of the outdoor advertising boards
and give early warnings when the boards are being in danger. The
simple physical measurements.
monitoring system consists of two subsystems, one is the WSN
structure system based on ZigBee wireless sensor nodes with a
6-axis MEMS motion sensor integrated to capture the movement
information, and the other is the monitoring center system con-
trolled by ARM microcontroller for data processing and
long-distance wireless communications with remote server
through a GPRS module. The simulation model of outdoor ad-
vertising board is also built to analyze the deformed shape of the
advertising board structure under wind load, and the early
warning judgment standard is proposed. The performance of the
monitoring system is evaluated through several experiments un-
der the condition of laboratory in different aspects of the com-
parison experiments. The experimental results indicate that the
WSN monitoring system can real timely and accurately monitor
the state of the outdoor advertising boards.
Fig. 1. Collapsed outdoor advertising board.

Index Terms—Monitoring System, Outdoor Advertising Board, As the rapid developments of the wireless telecommunica-
ZigBee, Wireless Sensor Networks, MEMS Sensor tion and the embedded technology, the sensor technology gets
more and more innovative, and the wireless sensor network
I. INTRODUCTION (WSN) with characteristics of small volume, low power con-

N OWADAYS, large outdoor advertising boards are wide-

spread in the prosperous area of a city, or along the main
road and the highway. These outdoor advertising boards are
sumption, and convenient application has emerged. The reali-
zation of WSN based on embedded system has become a hot
topic in recent years. ZigBee technology, one of the most pop-
liable to tilt or even collapse as time goes on due to their large ular technologies in the field of WSN, gradually becomes a
size and long exposure in the complex outdoor environment dispensable part of people’s life. Due to its flexible character-
(such as heavy rain, strong wind, earthquake and other factors), istics, ZigBee technology is widely applied in lots of fields,
thereby posing a serious threat to the public safety[1], as shown such as automatic control and remote data acquisition [2]. This
in Fig. 1. Therefore, it is important for the relevant departments paper demonstrates the safety monitoring system based on the
ZigBee WSN technology for supervising the state of large
This work is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation outdoor advertising board.
of China (No.61376117 and No.61411136003), Key Research and Develop-
ment Plan Project of Zhejiang Province (No.2018C01036), and Natural Science The reminder of this paper is organized as follows. Section II
Foundation of Zhejiang province (LQ15F040006). (Corresponding author: reviews several available solutions to the problem. Section III
Linxi Dong)
The authors are all with the Key Laboratory of RF Circuits and System of introduces the proposed safety monitoring system, while Sec-
Ministry of Education, School of Electronic and Information, Hangzhou Dianzi tion IV describes the WSN based MEMS sensor, ZigBee, and
University, Hangzhou 310018, China (e-mail:; tel.: the monitoring platform in details. In Section V, the model
L. Dong is also with State Key Laboratory of Functional Materials for Infor- setup and preliminary prediction are carried out, with analytical
matics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China.

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algorithms developed. Section VI presents the experimental coverage of the single monitoring node are limited. As the
results. Some conclusions are finally drawn in Section VII. overall movement trend of the advertising boards can be
prognosticated by the information of key parts in the boards
II. LITERATURE REVIEW AND STATE OF THE ART obtained by sensor nodes, it is reasonable to apply the WSNs
The review presented in this section includes a survey of for the outdoor advertising safety monitoring.
commercial methods for the outdoor advertising board moni- B. Applications of WSN for SHM
toring and the applications of WSN for structural health mon-
The health monitoring system based on WSNs is widely used
itoring (SHM).
in many fields. To date, many studies were reported on appli-
A. Monitoring Systems for Large Outdoor Advertising Board cations of WSN technology in SHM to obtain technical
According to the field investigations and literature, there are breakthroughs. Chae et al. [8] proposed a WSN system for
three conventional methods for monitoring the outdoor adver- suspension bridge health monitoring. A total of 45 sensors were
tising boards, i.e., video surveillance, radio frequency identi- installed in the bridge, whose locations and types were deter-
fication devices (RFID) based monitoring, and sensor-based mined by two factors, i.e., bridge behavior and wireless com-
monitoring [3]. munication stability. ZigBee was used for short distance
The video surveillance mainly uses front-end camera image communication among sensors and Code Division Multiple
acquisition system as well as the 4G networks for data trans- Access (CDMA) for long-distance wireless communications
mission, image processing, and analysis by the server [4]. with remote locations. The WSN-based bridge health moni-
Monitoring administrators can capture the state of advertising toring system proposed in [8] was developed with the aim of
boards and its surrounding environment by a stationary camera. ensuring universal applicability and maximizing the ease of
This approach is based on image matching contrast recognition WSN. Hodge et al. [9] surveyed the WSN technology for
algorithm, which is used to determine the anomalies and monitoring the railway infrastructure. This paper focused on
damage situation of boards identify billboard content. However, practical engineering solutions for determining the types, loca-
the camera method is highly susceptible to the weather. Low tions, and missions of the sensor devices. Mirshahi et al. [10]
visibility will lead to a sharp decline in the ability of monitoring demonstrated the algorithm for the process of SHM by applying
and identification. Moreover, it has high installation cost and integration of RFID system with sensor-tags in order to indicate
requires large amount of data transmission, which makes it how communication is carried out throughout the system. Two
unsuitable for the applications in area with poor network con- methods are proposed where integration based model of RFID
nectivity. Last but most important, this method is insufficient to and WSN were firstly investigated for bridge application, and
judge the internal safety in the billboard structure just from the then the RFID with passive sensor-tags was employed for
image information. Therefore, it is not a good scheme to pre- SHM.
vent the security threats aroused from the steel structure of the The WSN technology can reduce installation and mainte-
outdoor advertising boards. nance costs of the monitoring system, expand the coverage of
The monitoring system based on the RFID employs 2.4 GHz monitoring nodes, and collect more accurate measurement data
active radio frequency electronic tags to record the initial in- through the relevant algorithm analysis. Therefore, in this paper,
formation of the outdoor advertising device, such as the attrib- the WSN is employed for the outdoor advertising structure
ute and location information, through the handheld mobile monitoring. Based on the data collected from the pre-installed
query device to read the contents of the label and comparing sensor nodes, the proposed system can evaluate the real-time
with the actual situation on the scene [5]. Although this method status of the billboard and send out alarm timely in case of
has a certain ability of safety monitoring, it requires daily patrol. dangerous situation.
Therefore, the RFID-based monitoring technique is also un-
suitable for safety monitoring of outdoor advertising board. III. SYSTEM OUTLINE
The monitoring system based on sensor obtains the charac- In this paper, a safety monitoring system based on WSNs is
teristic parameters of the advertising board via the sensor data proposed for state monitoring and safety warning of outdoor
statistics analysis [6], [7]. The sensors, such as tilt sensors advertising board. The main monitoring parameter of the sys-
installing on the surface of the large advertising boards, can tem is structural inclination, and other types of sensors can be
collect real time vibration response data of the structure, added to meet different testing requirements. The stability of
thereby getting a lot of useful information by analyzing the overall structure is monitored through a number of WSN nodes
sensor data. It is evident that the sensor-based monitoring by analyzing the data of MEMS sensors.
technique is the best choice for safety monitoring of large The frame structure and composition of wireless outdoor
outdoor advertising boards. However, the present sensor-based advertising board safety monitoring system are illustrated in
safety monitoring method only uses a fixed threshold as the Fig. 2. The proposed system comprises two main modules: the
basis of judgment. Both the early warning algorithm and the ZigBee WSN and ARM Embedded Monitoring and Control

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Center. As the key part of the ZigBee WSN, the ZigBee sensor lution of tri-axis accelerometer is 16384LSB/g, which meets
end-device node is mainly composed of sensor module and the needs of the experiment. The measurement axis of
ZigBee wireless transceiver module, and takes charge of data MPU-6050 is shown in Fig. 4 [12].
acquisition and transmission of tilt angle at the current location.
A ZigBee coordinator and several single ZigBee sensor CLKOUT
end-nodes could form a WSN, and via the wireless data Self test

transmission module to realize multi-point data acquisition and Y

Slave I2C
and SPI
Self test ADC Serial SCL/(SCLK)
communication functions. Then, the statistical measure data Accel
FIFO Interface SDA/(SDI)

Signal Conditioning
will be transferred to the intelligent monitoring and control Self test
Registers Master
Interface AUX_CL
Accel I2C Serial
center for further analysis and processing. The intelligent Sensor

monitoring and control center which mainly comprise the ARM Self test
embedded control center and GPRS remote communication Y
Digital Motion
Self test ADC
module, can make a comprehensive analysis and data pro-
cessing, and then sends the result to the remote server by the Self test

GPRS module. As the result analysis shows that there are Temp
Sensor Bias & LDO
dangerous situations happening during the monitoring period, Charge
the system will automatically send warning information to the CPOUT VDD GND REGOUT [VLOGIC]

staffs. Fig. 3. Functional blocks of MPU6050

ARM Embedded
UART Monitoring and UART GPRS Module
Control Center


ZigBee Wireless Sensor Network Remote Server

ZigBee Sensor End Device ZigBee Coordinator

Fig. 2. The structure of advertising board safety monitoring system.


A. Wireless Sensor Node Design Fig. 4. The measurement axis of MPU-6050.
1) Selection of Sensor Module The sensor data fusion algorithms, which used to get the tilt
Sensor module is used to get the tilt angle. In this study, an
angle, consists of one-order complementation algorithm, Kal-
inclinometer based on a MEMS accelerometer was adopted for
man filtering algorithm [13], and quaternion algorithm, etc.
the SHM. The MEMS accelerometer responds to gravity sen-
Considering the computing time and processing efficiency of
sitively. Thus, a MEMS accelerometer sensor in a stationary
nodes, the combination of quaternion algorithm with the DMP
state measures both the static acceleration and the acceleration
of MPU-6050 can not only obtain tilt angle data quickly and
due to gravity. In this case, a certain angle is generated between
easily, but also meet the precision requirement. The tilt angle
the static acceleration and the acceleration due to gravity. This
can be expressed as: roll, rotate angle around the X axis; pitch,
angle corresponds to the slope of the sensor or the so-called tilt.
rotate angle around the Y axis; yaw, rotation angle around the Z
The InvenSense MPU6050 sensor, which is a MEMS six-axis
axis. The spatial arbitrary posture of the current equipment can
capacitive accelerometer, is selected as motion processing unit,
be expressed accurately by these three angles. The process of
and its functional blocks are showed in Fig. 3. It contains an
data fusion algorithm is illustrated in Fig. 5.
embedded a 3-axis MEMS gyroscope, a 3-axis MEMS accel-
The tilt angle data can be obtained by using the original data
erometer, and a Digital Motion Processor (DMP) hardware
of six axes with data fusion algorithm [14]. The InvenSense
accelerator engine that is capable of processing complex 6-axis
Company provides an embedded motion driver for the DMP
sensor fusion algorithms. The MPU6050 sensor features three
hardware of MPU6050. Then 6-axis quaternions from the DMP
16-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) for digitizing the
can be directly generated by the embedded motion driver. After
gyroscope outputs and three 16-bit ADCs for digitizing the
getting the quaternions, the tilt angles can be calculated by the
accelerometer outputs. In MPU6050, the minimum resolution
following conversion equations,
of tri-axis gyroscope is 131LSB/ (°/s), and the minimum reso-

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Three Axises
Angular Velocity Quaternion to
Tilt Angle
MPU-6050 Data Fusion Attitude Angle
Three Axises Conversion
Fig. 5. Data fusion algorithm flow diagram.

Sensor MCU ZigBee Wireless Impedance Matching

Module (8051 kernel ) Transceiver Module Network

Power Supply Module

Fig. 6. The structure of sensor data acquisition node.

𝜑 arctan2(2(𝑤𝑥 + 𝑦𝑧), 1 − 2(𝑥 2 + 𝑦 2 )) electric power for the wireless node. The designed ZigBee
[𝜃] = [ arcsin(2(𝑤𝑦 − 𝑧𝑥)) ] (1) experimental node is shown in Fig. 7.
𝜓 2
arctan2(2(𝑤𝑧 + 𝑥𝑦), 1 − 2(𝑦 + 𝑧 2 ))

where 𝑤, 𝑥, 𝑦, and 𝑧 represent quaternions, and 𝜑, 𝜃, and 𝜓

represent roll, pitch and yaw, respectively. Then, the stability Antenna

data of the equipment condition can be obtained according to

the change of each angle at different time. connection
2) The Structure of Wireless Sensor Node indicator light

Sensor data acquisition node is the basic element of wireless Impedance Matching Networking

data acquisition network, namely ZigBee sensor end device. A CC2530 Microprocessor
Low Dropout Voltage Regulator
lot of nodes that distribute in different parts of the equipment MPU6050 Motion Processing
under test can accomplish the function of multi point data ac-
quisition. Here, the structure of sensor data acquisition node is Lithium Metal Battery Reset Power Switch
designed by integrating sensor module, MCU, ZigBee wireless Fig. 7. ZigBee experimental node.
transceiver module, and power supply module, etc. The hard-
ware structure is shown in Fig. 6. B. Development of WSN
The sensor module MPU-6050 mainly consists of 6-axis ZigBee wireless control transceiver module is responsible
MEMS motion sensor, and the sensor data is given in the form for sensor data read and preprocessing, and also has wireless
of 3-axis acceleration data and 3-axis gyroscope data. Then the networking capabilities. As a result, the data package is carried
tilt angles are obtained through the data fusion algorithm. For forward according to the protocol provisions of the ZigBee
the MCU and ZigBee wireless transceiver module, the ZigBee wireless network. Z-Stack is a complete ZigBee protocol stack
controlling and radio frequency integrated chip CC2530F256 and application development solution that is distributed by TI
are used to realize the sensor data reading and ZigBee network Corporation and conforms to the ZigBee Alliance standard. In
joining. The CC2530F256 is a powerful and high-performance this protocol stack, Z-Stack helps developers to achieve most of
on-chip solution for 2.4GHz, IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee ap- the ZigBee protocol content. Therefore, for the application
plications [15]. In the sensor node, CC2530 controls the pulse development based on ZigBee protocol stack, the researchers
signal to read the acceleration sensor data through the I2 C do not need to repeatedly develop ZigBee protocol when de-
interface (SDA and SCL), and calculate the tilt angle of signing huge data communication management system, and
equipment. For a wireless sensor, energy is usually provided just develop the application framework provided by Z-Stack
from solar power, structure vibration, chemical batteries or [16]. By calling the application interface function provided by
lithium batteries. In this study, during the experimental test Z-Stack and modifying the device configuration information,
phase, a lithium polymer battery is adopted, and provides the implementation of the wireless network node with custom
electric power for the sensor module and the MCU and ZigBee function is completed. In the Z-Stack protocol stack, the de-
wireless transceiver module. The power supply module that is vices in the network are divided into three categories.ZigBee
made up of lithium battery and voltage regulation circuit pro- Coordinator: The device is responsible for starting the IEEE
vides stabilized voltage support for the whole node. Recently, 802.15.4 network and serves as a personal area network (PAN)
with the sustainable development of the solar charging tech- coordinator in this network. ZigBee Router: The device can
nology, the solar panels are applied in the WSN, and provide join an existing network and connect with a coordinator or
other routers, as well as allow other devices to connect with the

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device, in the network responsible for routing packets. ZigBee Each sensor node sends the collected data to the coordinator
End Device: The device can join an existing network and module by wireless network mode. Then the data communica-
connect with a coordinator or other routers. tion is realized between the coordinator and the ARM CPU by
In the wireless data acquisition node, the wireless module using UART interface. The embedded Linux operating system
belongs to the ZigBee End Device, while the ZigBee wireless runs on the ARM CPU, and a GUI application designed by the
module in the data processing and monitoring terminal belongs C++ programming language and Qt development framework is
to the ZigBee Coordinator device. A coordinator node can used to complete the functions, which includes monitoring data
connect with the terminal device at the same time, and it can receiving and processing, real-time data display, historical data
constitute the topology network. There are three common to- query and statistics, data analysis and early warning, infor-
pologies: star topology, tree topology and mesh topology, re- mation management and remote communication, and so on.
spectively, as shown in Fig. 8. Due to outdoor advertising The GPRS module can be connected with the internet similar to
equipment area limitations, the star network topology can meet the mobile phone communication. The monitoring data will be
the requirement of the wireless network coverage. So, for sent to the specified remote server via the internet. In addition,
ZigBee node devices, only the Coordinator and End Devices the LCD touch screen provides a convenience to display data
are needed in this system. The star topology has been shown in and waveform curve, set the related parameters, and switch
Fig. 8. function. All historical data is stored in a local database with
SQLite and synchronized with the cloud. The hardware plat-
form and user interface of monitoring platform used in this
study are shown in Fig. 10 and Fig. 11, respectively.

Coordinator Router End Device

Star Topology Tree Topology Mesh Topology LCD Touch Screen

Fig. 8. Topology structure of ZigBee WSN.

After the node is powered on, each hardware device and

protocol stack program must be initialized, and then the OSAL ZigBee Coordinator
system is executed. OSAL, also known as the operating system
abstraction layer, is a management mechanism for mul-
ti-tasking system resource defined by Z-Stack to achieve a
GPRS/GSM Module ARM Core-board
similar operating system management functions. The system
uses polling to work. According to the priority of the task query, Fig. 10. Embedded monitoring experimental platform.

if the task needs to be executed, call the task of the sub-function.

If not, continue to query, and finally continue to the cycle. The
tasks of user-defined application layer are also added to the task
C. Monitoring Center Design
The monitoring platform adopts the ARM core-based mi-
croprocessor S3C2440 as the master control chip. Hardware
setup comprises ARM core-board, power circuit, LCD touch
screen interface circuit, UART interface circuit, coordinator
module, and GPRS module, etc. Its structure diagram is shown
in Fig. 9.
Fig. 11. Embedded platform system interface.
LCD Touch Screen
D. Sensor Nodes Layout and System Implementation
Multiple wireless nodes of sensor end device are installed on
GPRS Module UART Power Module
(ARM Core-board) the main loading points of steel structure behind the advertising
boards. The number of nodes depends on the size and structure
Fig. 9. Hardware structure of the monitoring platform. of the advertising board. The ZigBee wireless network can
support 65535 nodes theoretically. Therefore, people don’t
need to worry about the limited number of nodes in practice.

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Importantly, both the coordinator node and the embedded at the height(z), respectively, 𝛽𝑧 is the wind-induced vibration
monitoring platform need uninterrupted power supply, and they coefficient at the height(z).
cannot be far away from the advertising board. Hence, they Furthermore, the modeling and analysis by finite element
should be set in the nearby equipment box for convenient method are carried out based on SAP2000 spatial structure.
maintenance and debugging. Generally, all data is transferred According to simulation, a reasonable method for judging the
to the cloud server by GPRS module simultaneously. When dumping of outdoors billboards and the proper arrangement of
some abnormal situations occur, the monitoring platform will sensor nodes can be realized. In SAP2000, a model needs to be
send early warning information via Short Messaging Service built first, the object of which should be the same as the actual
(SMS) and Cloud Report Service (CRS) to the manager. SMS is component parameters. After building the model, the load
one of the most popular short message services now and can condition combination is defined accompanied by the con-
meet the requirements of information transmission of detection straints.
system, and it is easy to implement and low cost. Layout dia- The analysis results can be got after the operation of struc-
gram is shown in Fig. 12. tural analysis [18]. The results of the load applied to the ad-
vertising model are shown in Fig. 14.
Sensor end-device node

Coordinator node

The back of The Internet cloud

advertisement board

GPRS module

Embedded Monitoring platform

Fig. 12. Monitoring system layout.

A. The Outdoor Advertising Board Model Setup and Simula-
tion Analysis



(a) (b)
Fig. 13. (a) Billboard elevation; (b) Top view. (b)
According to the different forms of outdoor billboards and Fig. 14. Simulation model analysis: (a) outdoor advertising board module;
load conditions, many researchers have established the corre- (b) deformed shape under wind load.
sponding mathematical model for analysis. One of the most It can be analyzed that, under the action of the standard
widely studied models is the wind load response model [17]. horizontal wind load, the billboard downwind displacement is
The load of horizontal wind is the main one that the billboard incremented from bottom to top, from the table above. The
structure needs to bear. And the strength of wind resistance is deformation at the top of the billboard is the biggest. If the
the key to the safety and stability of the billboard. Due to the deformation is greater than that, the deformation of the bill-
large number of outdoor billboards, this study selects a board will be more than the design of the safety range, which
three-sided independent column billboard as a research object. may cause a great security risk.
The structure of the diagram is shown in Fig. 13. As shown in Fig. 15, the maximal displacement is about 90
𝜔𝑘 = 𝛽𝑧 𝜇𝑠 𝜇𝑧 𝜔𝑜 (2) cm, at the vertex, and the minimum is about 26 cm. The height
where 𝜔0 is the basic wind pressure (kN/m ), 𝜇𝑠 and 𝜇𝑧 represent of the billboard is 11.40 m tall from the bottom to the top of the
the wind load shape factor and wind pressure height coefficient column. The approximate range of inclination can be estimated

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by the arctangent function. The maximum and minimum esti- smoothing constant corresponds to the minimum of MSE or
mates of the top tilt angle are arctan(0.9/5) = 10.2° and MAD and its predicted value is the most reasonable.
arctan(0.26/5) = 2.98°, respectively. C. Early Warning Judgment Standard
For the dangerous situations that may happen on the outdoor
billboard equipment, the system mainly considers the following
three cases:
1. The role of strong external load, such as typhoons, snow,
earthquakes, etc., can cause a sudden deformation of the bill-
board structure. Specifically, the monitoring angle value
changes greatly in a short time.
2. The joint parts of billboard steel structure are loosing,
which is usually caused by loosening or disordering of the bolts
at the structural connections. In addition, the structural joints of
the corrosion fracture also have the structural instability, such
as the instable monitoring angle, variation of the frequency and
Fig.15. Model node displacement data table. increased amplitude.
3. The billboards keep tilting in one direction. When the an-
B. Predictive Analytic Algorithms gle is becoming larger, the tilt will exceed the security limits,
For safety monitoring of the outdoor advertising board,the indicating that the deformation even the billboard collapse is
monitoring data are huge with strong continuity and difficulty happening due to the structural imbalance.
in function representations. Time series analysis provides an The acquisition of the initial data is carried out after the in-
effective method for the analysis of dynamic data. It is a branch stallation of the monitoring system. Then the system collects
of statistics and widely used in trend prediction [19]. By time the first 20 sets of data continuously, and calculates the arith-
series analysis, we build models to describe the states of the metic mean and standard error of the group. If the standard
outdoor advertising board and extract information from the error data is less than 1, then reset the arithmetic mean of 20
dynamic data, as well as construct feature vectors for the dis- sets of data as the initial state of the billboard. This status will
crimination. be updated after each billboard maintenance.
In this paper, exponential smoothing model was used to de- After the status of billboard is initialized, the data is pro-
scribe the development trend of the monitoring data. The dou- cessed as followed:
ble exponential smoothing of sequence (Y) is defined by the 1. Threshold judgment. Firstly, determine whether the col-
recursive form as followed: lected data is below the security threshold or not. The safety
𝑆𝑡 = 𝛼𝑌𝑡 + (1 − 𝛼)𝑆𝑡−1
(1) threshold depends on the design criteria of the billboard or the
{ (2) (1) (2)
(3) model simulation analysis, or the historical extreme value of
𝑆𝑡 = 𝛼𝑆𝑡 + (1 − 𝛼)𝑆𝑡−1
(1) (2)
the monitoring data over a certain period of time. As one ex-
where 𝑆𝑡 and 𝑆𝑡 represent the single and double exponen- ample in this paper, the billboard is judged to be stable when
tial smoothing value at epoch 𝑡, respectively, while 𝑌𝑡 repre- the inclination is smaller than 3 degrees, and if the data is larger
sents the metrical data value. And 𝛼 is the smoothing constant than the threshold of 10 degrees, the billboard may be abnormal
in the range of 0 < 𝛼 < 1. The prediction model is built as or the node is constructed abnormally.
followed: 2. Difference judgment. By comparing the collected data
𝐹𝑡+𝑇 = 𝑀𝑡 + 𝑁𝑡 𝑇 (4) with the previous received one, if the inclination change is
where 𝐹𝑡+𝑇 is the prediction value at epoch 𝑡 + 𝑇 . 𝑇 is the greater than 3 degrees, judge that the billboard is abnormal, and
predictive period. 𝑀𝑡 and 𝑁𝑡 are the model parameters, ex- maybe possibly suffering from the strong external load, and at
pressed by: the same time if the cumulative change between the received
(1) (2)
𝑀𝑡 = 2𝑆𝑡 − 𝑆𝑡 (5) and initial data of the billboard’s state is greater than 5 degrees,
𝑁𝑡 = (1) (2) (6) the billboard is tilting in a certain direction.
(1−𝛼)(𝑆𝑡 −𝑆𝑡 )
respectively. 3. Predictive model evaluation. This step uses the exponen-
A reasonable smoothing constant α should be chosen based tial smoothing model built previously to calculate a predicted
on an appropriate evaluation criterion. The method is to cal- value based on the historical data, and then compares it with the
culate the smoothing sequences corresponding to the plurality true value. The error value should not exceed triple of the
of smoothing constants α first, and then calculate the mean standard error.
square error (MSE) or the average absolute error (MAD). The

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VI. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION and the measured angle of inclinometer is as the true one. The
A. Outdoor Field Test angle ranges from 0 to 30 degrees, which covers the safe tilt
angle of the advertising boards. Since the sensor nodes are
Outdoor field test is necessary. Verification of the wireless
placed horizontally, the measured values are 0. Then they are
communication stability in an outdoor advertising board envi-
tilted in the range of 0 to 3021degrees. The measured values are
ronment is one of the main objectives of the test and the sensors
compared with the readings 20.9 of the inclinometer. The meas-
and software program stability test is another objective.
urement results are shown in 20.8Fig. 17.
The install locations of the sensors are shown in Fig. 16(a).
The red mark is marked as the position of the sensor node. The Testing Accuracy Curve
30 20.6
monitoring platform is located at the bottom of the advertising Standard Angle
column for easy observation by the operator as showed in Fig. 25
Measured Angle
20 20.3
Sensor node

Angle ( )
network 15 20.1

10 10 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 10 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 10

0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Test Number
Fig. 17. The comparison of measured angle and standard angle.
It can be seen that the absolute error of the measured value of
the sensor is within 0.3 degrees and the relative error is about
1.5% between 0 and 30 degrees. For outdoor billboard moni-
toring, 0.3 degrees of error is within the acceptable limit of the
GPRS system and meets the requirement of the measurement.
C. Sensor Node Power Consumption Test
As the sensor nodes use lithium battery as the power supply,
their power dissipation should be low enough so that they can
work stably for a long time without supplementing additional
power frequently. The sensor node operates in active mode
Monitoring platform display when there is data to be sent out, and it switches to PM2 low
(b) power sleep mode when there is no data transmission. And the
Fig. 16. Outdoor field test. (a) Sensor node placement; (b) Monitoring working time is estimated by measuring the current. The ex-
platform. perimental results show that the current of the sensor node
always changes during the data transmission and reception. The
For the different building materials properties (such as steel,
maximum of instantaneous current is 28.84 mA and the work-
aluminum), the corresponding algorithm needs to be adjusted
ing current of the sensor node is 0.78 mA when no data is sent.
accordingly, in order to accurately determine the threat of
Hence, the operating and sleep current is calculated at a max-
billboard tilt. According to the above simulation results, the
imum of 30 and 1 mA, respectively. The sensor node is set to
algorithm used in this experiment is suitable for steel material.
collect data once per hour. Each collection needs 100 s, and
B. Sensor Node Performance Test then the sensor sleeps for 500 s. As a result, the power con-
In order to ensure that the system can correctly determine the sumption of the sensor one day is 300×100×24/3600 +
safety and stability of the equipment, we must first ensure the 1×500×24.3600 = 23.333 mAh.
accuracy of the collected sensor data. The error cannot exceed If the capacity of one lithium battery is 1500 mAh, the sensor
the minimum specified by the standard. Otherwise, it will make nodes can work for about 64 days, that is, two months. Thus,
an error of judgment. the sensor nodes can meet the requirements of low power
This test uses the value measured by the standard inclinom- consumption. Moreover, the integration of solar modules into
eter as the reference one. The fixed plane of the different in- the sensor system can be employed to achieve less or even no
clination angles and the inclination of the sensor nodes are maintenances.
measured by the inclinometer and sensor nodes, respectively,

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D. WSN Data Transmission Experiment odically, and calculates the packet loss rate by the number of
In order to facilitate the observation and debugging, during packets received. Repeated experiments show that the packet
the network testing, the coordinator is connected with the PC loss rate is less than 5%. Therefore, the performance of the
serial port via the experimental development board, and then wireless data transmission is stable and reliable for the moni-
the data received by the coordinator is sent to the serial de- toring system.
bugging assistant via serial communication. The test environ- E. System Early Warning Test
ment is shown in Fig. 18.
For the dangerous situations, the safety monitoring system
has three early warning mechanisms: buzzer warning, SMS
1.The serial assistant
received the data to warning and early warning of data center news. The system
prove that the network
was successful
Serial debugging assistant composition is shown in Fig. 19. The buzzer warning is carried
2. The network indicator
lights together to prove
out by the terminal of field data processing. There is a warning
that the connection is
sound to remind the pedestrians to stay away when a dumping
Coordinator test
board danger occurs. SMS warning is achieved by the SMS function
of GPRS module. When the system detects an abnormal situa-
tion it immediately sends warning message to the preset man-
The serial cable is
connected to the PC agers’ phones, reminding them to rush to the security scene.
Sensor data acquisition node The message of data center informs the user of the abnormal
situation through the popup warning window. The analysis of
Fig. 18. Networking test. the early warning judgment finds out the origin of the failure
The networking is proved to be successful by either the and possible reasons. The test experiments demonstrate that the
flashing and lighting of the network indicator of the coordinator early warning mechanism can give the alarm accurately when
and sensor node or the reception of sensor data by the serial the abnormal data meets the set early warning criteria.
debugging assistant. The distance between the sensor and the
coordinator can be increased by changing the position of the
sensor node. By observing whether the networking is success-
ful or not, the actual communication distance is determined.
The sending period of the experiment acquisition node is 1 s, Server Software
Wireless Sensor Node
and the transmission power is modified to the maximum 4.5
Test experiments show that the communication distance is
up to 150 m in the open outdoor playground environment, while
it can reach 80 m in dense multipath indoor environment. If the
coordinator is too far away from the end device, the phenom-
enon of packet loss will appear. Actually, the 50m distance of
communication is enough, and the network meets the re- Monitoring Platform
quirements of the system monitoring.
TABLE 1. Fig. 19. Demo of the system composition.
Received Ideal Packet
No. Sensor Location
Packet Packet Loss Rate
Tilt Upper left In this paper, a WSN monitoring system based on ZigBee
1 1043 1200 4.75%
sensor corner
Tilt Upper right and MEMS sensor for the large outdoor advertising boards is
2 1147 1200 4.42%
sensor corner designed. In the system, multiple 6-axis MEMS sensors are
Tilt Bottom left
3 1154 1200 3.83% placed around the key load points on the large outdoor adver-
sensor corner
Tilt Bottom tising board, and they all report to a single node called coor-
4 1161 1200 3.25%
sensor right corner dinator. At each sensor node, a data fusion algorithm based on
the measured data is used to obtain accurate and stable tilt angle.
In the Field test, there were some packet losses during data The ZigBee network between the sensor nodes and coordinator
transfer but they did not affect measurement of the billboard allows the system to operate with low power dissipation.
inclination and alerting against potential dangers because in- Eventually, the embedded monitoring platform judges the state
complete packets are filtered at the server side. Wireless of the boards and generates early warning with the help of
communication test result is showed in Table 1. The sensor predictive analytics algorithm. In the experiments, both the
node sends 1200 packets of 10 bytes to the coordinator peri-

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zhou, China. His current research research interests include

interconnect design and simulation, carbon nanoelectronics,
and Multiphysics simulation.

Kuiwen Xu received the B.E. degree from

Hangzhou Dianzi University, and the Ph.D.
degree from Zhejiang University, Hang-
zhou, China, in 2009 and 2014, respec-
tively. He was a Visiting Ph.D. Student
with the National University of Singapore,
Singapore, from 2012 to 2013.
From 2014 to 2015, he was a senior re-
searcher with Huawei Technologies Co.
Ltd. He is currently an Associate Professor
with Hangzhou Dianzi University. His research interests in-
clude antenna design, microwave measurement and electro-
magnetic inverse scattering problems.

Gaofeng Wang (S’93-M’95-SM’01) re-

ceived the Ph.D. degree in electrical engi-
neering from University of Wiscon-
sin-Milwaukee, WI, USA, in 1993, and the
Ph.D. degree in scientific computing from
Stanford University, CA, USA, in 2001.
He was a Scientist with Tanner Re-
search Inc., Pasadena, CA, USA, from
1993 to 1996. He was a Principal Re-
searcher and Development Engineering with Synopsys Inc.,
Mountain View, CA, from 1996 to 2001. In 1999, he served as
a Consultant with Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ. He was
the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Intpax, Inc., San Jose,
CA, UAS, from 2001 to 2003. He was the CTO of Siargo Inc.,
Santo Clara, CA, USA, from 2004 to 2010. He was a Professor
and the Head of CJ Huang Information Technology Research
Institute with Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, from 2004 to
2013. He was a Chief Scientist with Lorentz Solution, Inc.,
Santa Clara, CA, USA, from 2010 to 2013. He is currently a
Distinguished Professor with Hangzhou Dianzi University,
Hangzhou, China. He has over 160 journal articles and holes 22
patents. His current research interests include integrated circuit
and microelectromechanical system design and simulation,
computational electromagnetics, electronic design automation,
and wavelet applications in engineering.

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