What does a traffic accident look like to an Atom?

Posted by Rebecca Skubish on Feb 9, 2022 5:31:54 PM

While we never hope that accidents or damage occur, actual events are the best way for the Atomation team and our partners to capture the data we need to set thresholds using real data and there have been two events in the field in the last few weeks! We've had two such occurrences that were captured by the AT-U1.0c in the field. Each event drove a different next step for the utility. One required immediate support while the second warranted timely but not immediate follow-up - and Atoms were able to tell the difference. 

Truck Collision

A monitored asset was struck by a mid-sized pick-up truck in the early morning hours of January 9th.  Atoms captured the following:

  • Impacts greater than 11G on the Atom closest to the event. Additional impacts were captured on the two other Atoms within range of the accident. 
  • The Atom with the highest impact denoted the location of the accident.
  • The tilt sensor recorded an angle change of +128.387° (from the baseline of between 0 and 2 degrees).  After the event, the tilt angle did change but did not return to normal, signaling the need for immediate inspection.

atomation dashboard export

Dashboard export from Atomation Platform

  • EMF readings spiked from periodic readings at an average of 170 mV to 2338 mV at the time of the accident. Readings returned to normal almost immediately after the event occurred. 
  • The chart below, available on the Atomation platform, shows the EMF spike at the time the tilt event is captured with the resultant drop in EMF post-event while the Atom remains tilted. 

emf + tilt with truck

Dashboard export from Atomation Platform

The Atoms were not damaged in the accident and continue to provide periodic readings (and the driver of the truck was also not hurt!). We are using these readings to further hone our threshold recommendations to ensure that alerts delivered to our partners denote real events and not false alarms in the field, saving valuable time and resources while also improving field operations. 

Snowplow Coming Through!

In a second event the following week, a snowplow hit a monitored asset. Atoms recorded impacts, tilts, and EMF spikes but the EMF and tilt readings returned to normal immediately after the event, signaling that the asset required inspection, but that the need was not immediate. 

snow plow readings

Dashboard export from Atomation Platform

The highlighted row shows the primary impact point while the corresponding impacts were in the vicinity of the event (please note that the device numbers are not in order). Follow-up inspection of the location showed a damaged pole, likely by a plow clearing a recent snowfall in the area. 

snow plow + graph

Bringing it all Together

Atoms in the field captured two different traffic-related events that gave our utility partner the information they needed to triage the event - one was an emergency and one needed timely follow-up. The Atoms told them the difference without requiring an onsite inspection.

These two field events continue to validate the Utility Asset Monitoring solution that the Atomation team has built. Our partners and customers have provided valuable feedback along the way, ensuring that the solution delivers the information companies need to determine the necessary next step. 

Be sure to check out our Utility use cases and be on the lookout for an exciting partnership announcement as Atomation continues to grow!

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