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Mohammad Mozumdar Shares Research on Microsensors for Smart Roads

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

by Ryan Hund, Master of Urban Planning (MUP), USC

On October 9, METRANS researcher and Long Beach State University Professor Mohammad Mozumdar shared the results of his ongoing research on development of a lightweight low-power multi-node Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensing network at USC, kicking off the METRANS’ Fall 2019 Research Seminar Series.

 

Traffic monitoring is an essential task for any municipal transportation agency. However, current hardware solutions are bulky and unreliable. For the last five years, Mohammad Mozumdar, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Long Beach State University, has been working on a better solution. Professor Mozumdar presented  “Micro Sensor Development for Vehicle Detection and Identification for Next Generation Smart Roads,” to students, faculty and professionals from throughout the Los Angeles region.

 

            Mozumdar explained that the current industry standard in traffic sensing technologies relies on inductive loop detectors, which are costly to install and difficult to maintain. His solution involves small magnetometers which are embedded in the pavement and communicate wirelessly with roadside base stations. Magnetometers detect the presence of vehicles by sensing the magnetic field created by the car’s frame as it passes. When a car is detected, the magnetometer sends a signal to its base station communicating information about the vehicle.

            Unlike induction loops, magnetometers can also use magnetic field information to detect the type of vehicle being driven, down to the make and model. Mozumdar played a video demonstrating this technology, first in a lab and then on a test track, and stressed that while the system is still in active development and there is still has much work left to be done, the goal is to achieve widespread adoption of the technology. The microsensors are now being field-tested as part of a partnership with the City of Long Beach. The research started five years ago with a research funding grant from METRANS.

 

Event attendees appreciated his insights in the upcoming research in latest technologies for vehicle detection and students from varied fields, including urban planning and transportation engineering, gained knowledge on the usage of the technology from his presentation.  

 

            Mohammad Mozumdar Ph.D. has worked at CSU Long Beach since 2012. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from the Politecnico di Torino in Turin, Italy.

 

            You can view Professor Mozumdar’s talk in full on METRANS’ YouTube channel here. Keep an eye out for future research seminars at https://www.metrans.org/outreach_seminars.