Gao, Haibin; Wolff, Jörg; Hartmann, Uwe (University of Saarbrücken, Department of Experimental Physics, P. O. Box 151150, D-66041 Saarbrücken, Germany)
Weinmann, Michael; Voit, Stefan (Votronic GmbH, Saarbrücker Strasse 8, D-66386 St. Ingbert, Germany)
Heuer, Thomas (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Münchener Strasse 20, D-82234 Wessling, Germany)
There is a strongly increasing amount of air and road traffic. This causes an increasing need for intelligent traffic flow management by, e. g., lights and variable signs etc. A related subject is the intelligent allocation of parking space. Increasingly more complex traffic situations demand for new systems of information, acquisition and transfer. We developed a completely new approach in which magnetoresistive sensors are used to detect tiny distortions of the earth’s magnetic field in the neighborhood of aircrafts or road vehicles, or fields superimposed to the earth’s magnetic field by ferromagnetic vehicle components. The systems consisting of sensor unit, data processing unit and interface can be used in a versatile way as components of multi-sensor arrays or as standalone units. Major advantages in comparison to other systems for traffic data acquisition include relatively low costs and an independence of weather conditions. Our developments are the basis of a new mass application of magnetoresistive sensors. Several applications on airports, at car parks and in the analysis of road traffic will be presented, and the impact on future sensor developments will be discussed.