Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wireless sensors share intelligence

27.06.2007
Wireless sensor networks find their way in logistics, in product quality control and even in the Great Barrier Reef where they monitor the quality of water. But how do hundreds of sensors communicate without consuming too much battery power? Lodewijk van Hoesel of the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT) of the University of Twente lets sensors ‘speak’ to their neighbours without the need of a central director.

Wireless sensor networks are hot. In any application in which wires used to cause problems, autonomous and wireless sensors can be positioned. An example of a project Van Hoesel is involved with, is monitoring the water quality in the fragile ecology of the Great Barrier Reef without the need of an ‘intrusive’ infrastructure. But also for climate control in buildings and for monitoring industrial processes, wireless sensor networks have been introduced. The sensors exchange information and form ‘multi hop’ connections. Because they sometimes stay in place for years, the use of battery power must be kept to a minimum.

The sensors don’t just constantly transmit their data to a central server; that would cost far too much energy. Communication is expensive in terms of energy consumption, therefore intelligence is added locally to each sensor node: the sensors know when to transmit their data and when to pass data through, coming from neighbouring sensors. For this, they have to be ‘on speaking terms’, as Van Hoesel calls it. In this way, the network itself can carry out complex tasks.

He therefore designed a so-called Medium Access (MAC) protocol, based on self organization of the network. The sensors keep an eye on their neighbours and autonomously decide whether to start transmitting or not. This also holds for the neighbours next-door to the closest neighbours: in this way, Van Hoesel avoids conflicts in the network and keeps energy use to a minimum.

This approach can be further improved by introducing passive sensors in the network: they provide data but they don’t actively participate in the multi hop communication. Passive sensors use less energy and thus extend the lifetime of the network as a whole. As wireless networks in general can be vulnerable to attacks from the outside, Van Hoesel presents adequate countermeasures.

Lodewijk van Hoesel, who defended his PhD thesis ‘Sensors on speaking terms’ on June 21 is also the cofounder –together with Paul Havinga and Stefan Dulman- of Ambient Systems, a company specialized in wireless sensor networks. The young company recently was awarded the Dutch ICTRegie Award and the Van den Kroonenberg Award, an award of the University of Twente for young entrepreneurs. Ambient Systems started cooperation with the Australian Institute of Marine Science for monitoring the water quality around the Great Barrier Reef using wireless sensor networks.

Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ambient-systems.net

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>