An Empirical Method of Ascertaining the Null Points from a Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) Roadside Unit (RSU) at a Highway On/Off-Ramp
Walker, Jonathan Bearnarr
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The deployment of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) roadside units (RSUs) allows a connected or automated vehicle to acquire information from the surrounding environment using vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. However, wireless communication using DSRC has shown to exhibit null points, at repeatable distances. The null points are significant and there was unexpected loss in the wireless signal strength along the pathway of the V2I communication. If the wireless connection is poor or non-existent, the V2I safety application will not obtain sufficient data to perform the operation services. In other words, a poor wireless connection between a vehicle and infrastructure (e.g., RSU) could hamper the performance of a safety application. For example, a designer of a V2I safety application may require a minimum rate of data (or packet count) over 1,000 meters to effectively implement a Reduced Speed/Work Zone Warning (RSZW) application. The RSZW safety application is aimed to alert or warn drivers, in a Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) platoon, who are approaching a work zone. Therefore, the packet counts and/or signal strength threshold criterion must be determined by the developer of the V2I safety application. Thus, we selected an arbitrary criterion to develop an empirical method of ascertaining the null points from a DSRC RSU. The research motivation focuses on developing an empirical method of calculating the null points of a DSRC RSU for V2I communication at a highway on/off-ramp. The intent is to improve safety, mobility, and environmental applications since a map of the null points can be plotted against the distance between the DSRC RSU and a vehicle's onboard unit (OBU). The main research question asks: 'What is a more robust empirical method, compared to the horizontal and vertical laws of reflection formula, in determining the null points from a DSRC RSU on a highway on/off ramp?' The research objectives are as follows: 1. Explain where and why null points occur from a DSRC RSU (Chapter 2) 2. Apply the existing horizontal and vertical polarization model and discuss the limitations of the model in a real-world scenario for a DSRC RSU on a highway on/off ramp (Chapter 3 and Appendix A) 3. Introduce an extended horizontal and vertical polarization null point model using empirical data (Chapter 4) 4. Discuss the conclusion, limitations of work, and future research (Chapter 5). The simplest manner to understand where and why null points occur is depicted as two sinusoidal waves: direct and reflective waves (i.e., also known as a two-ray model). The null points for a DSRC RSU occurs because the direct and reflective waves produce a destructive interference (i.e., decrease in signal strength) when they collide. Moreover, the null points can be located using Pythagorean theorem for the direct and reflective waves. Two existing models were leveraged to analyze null points: 1) signal strength loss (i.e., a free space path loss model, or FSPL, in Appendix A) and 2) the existing horizontal and vertical polarization null points from a DSRC RSU. Using empirical data from two different field tests, the existing horizontal and vertical polarization null point model was shown to contain limitations in short distances from the DSRC RSU. Moreover, the existing horizontal and vertical polarization model for null points was extremely challenging to replicate with over 15 DSRC RSU data sets. After calculating the null point for several DSRC RSU heights, the paper noticed a limitation of the existing horizontal and vertical polarization null point model with over 15 DSRC RSU data sets (i.e., the model does not account for null points along the full length of the FSPL model). An extended horizontal and vertical polarization model is proposed that calculates the null point from a DSRC RSU. There are 18 model comparisons of the packet counts and signal strengths at various thresholds as perspective extended horizontal and vertical polarization models. This paper compares the predictive ability of 18 models and measures the fit. Finally, a predication graph is depicted with the neural network's probability profile for packet counts =1 when greater than or equal to 377. Likewise, a python script is provided of the extended horizontal and vertical polarization model in Appendix C. Consequently, the neural network model was applied to 10 different DSRC RSU data sets at 10 unique locations around a circular test track with packet counts ranging from 0 to 11. Neural network models were generated for 10 DSRC RSUs using three thresholds with an objective to compare the predictive ability of each model and measure the fit. Based on 30 models at 10 unique locations, the highest misclassification was 0.1248, while the lowest misclassification was 0.000. There were six RSUs mounted at 3.048 (or 10 feet) from the ground with a misclassification rate that ranged from 0.1248 to 0.0553. Out of 18 models, seven had a misclassification rate greater than 0.110, while the remaining misclassification rates were less than 0.0993. There were four RSUs mounted at 6.096 meters (or 20 feet) from the ground with a misclassification rate that ranged from 0.919 to 0.000. Out of 12 models, four had a misclassification rate greater than 0.0590, while the remaining misclassification rates were less than 0.0412. Finally, there are two major limitations in the research: 1) the most effective key parameter is packet counts, which often require expensive data acquisition equipment to obtain the information and 2) the categorical type (i.e., decision tree, logistic regression, and neural network) will vary based on the packet counts or signal strength threshold that is dictated by the threshold criterion. There are at least two future research areas that correspond to this body of work: 1) there is a need to leverage the extended horizontal and vertical polarization null point model on multiple DSRC RSUs along a highway on/off ramp, and 2) there is a need to apply and validate different electric and magnetic (or propagation) models.
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