Large Scale Parking Lot Monitoring System

Sorry for how rudimentary this question is about to be but I am trying to find help at my university for a project I am wanting to propose but have had no luck on any engineering professors that are willing to help. Thus bringing me here.

I am wanting to look into the feasibility of implementing a parking lot infrared (IR) sensor system that can be integrated to my university's mobile application. My general set up that I have devised so far is to have an IR sensor at each spot of the parking lot with each connected to an Arduino. The parking lot I am using as a reference has 150 parking spaces so I figured 3 Arduino Megas could be used to interface the 150 sensors. The sensors would provide the Arduino with a feedback of whether the sensor is tripped or not, thus allowing for the indication of an open spot. This is where I start getting unsure of what else I will need.

I have read that a GSM will be needed to communicate with the network however I have read that this could also be done through a router. I do not understand the difference between these approaches so please give any suggestions on how to communicate to the network.

I am also trying to calculate power consumption for the entire system and feel like my numbers are WAY off. I am getting results of an amperage draw of 10.89 Amps (YIKES). I have been using average current values for each component but feel as if my approach is wrong. If you have suggestions on calculating power consumption, I am open to all recommendations.

Another aspect of the project is to make it off-grid and wireless, as running wires with the university staffing is extremely costly thus greatly diminishing the chances of the project getting approved (yes, we have to use university services for this).

Any suggestions for these concerns are greatly appreciated.

Ok. 1 Mega per 50 parking spaces. That is a pretty big area of ground. Assuming 3m per space, that is 150m long. One wire goes 3m to the first space, the next wire goes 6m, 9m, 12m...

I can't be bothered adding it up but you can see the sequence here: A000217 - OEIS. At 50 parking spaces, you will need 4.2km of wire. This is entirely the opposite of a wireless system.

Much better to run 150m of power wire and put an independent unit on each space. Maybe pairs of spaces if that works out easier and cheaper.

Better compute the cost of securing all your components from theft and damage, also cost to service the whole installation. When one sensor doesn't work right, how will you find and repair it?

Paul

google parking space detection using image processing

(Would require something more powerful than an Arduino. RPi maybe.)

I suggest that IR is not the best thing to use to detect cars in spaces, especially outside. There's lots and lots of IR in sunlight (that's why it's warm) and I suspect that on sunny days you will have problems with interference from the sun. (Or I might be wrong, but that would be my concern if I were considering this).

All the vehicle detectors I have ever seen have had some kind of metal detector in or on the road surface to detect a vehicle above them. In the UK (I don't know about other countries) these are visible near traffic lights as rectangular cuts in the road surface into which detection wires are put. In car parks they are pads containing the detectors in the centre of each space.

pigletrb12:
I have read that a GSM will be needed to communicate with the network however I have read that this could also be done through a router. I do not understand the difference between these approaches so please give any suggestions on how to communicate to the network.

The information and learning that you need for this is not specific to Arduinos.

"communicate with the network" is very vague.

You need to form a clear idea of how the information from your sensors will be used. You could probably start your learning and experimenting with a PC program that simulates the data from the Arduinos and produces the desired outputs

...R

PS ... I agree with the cautionary comments in other Replies