If sensors are supposed to communicate with each other to compare the measured data and to secure them, then, in the future, a network of distributed sensor nodes will aid in that: the network ensures a problem-free communication between the sensors. For example, they can be used to reliably monitor the watering of plants. At the ‘embedded world’ trade fair, taking place from 2/28 - 3/1 in Nuremberg (Germany), the researchers are showcasing a technological demonstration (Hall 5, Booth 228).
A green thumb is required where plants are to grow abundantly – that also applies to watering them in dry areas. If they are watered too much, then the soil becomes saline; if the plants receive too little moisture, they let their leaves droop and, in the worst case, they wither. In the future, sensors in the soil, a central unit and an associated app will supplement the green thumb: one look at the smart phone and the farmer will know what moisture content the soil has. Which plants need water, which do not? If the plants get too dry, the farmer is alerted by SMS; the same applies if there is too much water flowing onto the fields.
Watering is one of the potential applications for the new technology developed by the researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications HHI in Berlin. “The basis is a central unit that connects all types of sensors securely and reliably with each other”, says Jens Krüger, scientist at the HHI. This unit records the data of all sensors and forwards them to an Internet browser or an app on an Android smart phone, where the user can call them up and enter limit values – in the case of the watering system they might be humidity values. If these threshold values are under or over, he will receive an SMS on his mobile phone. “We use existing technology and customize it so the user can access it”, says Krüger. This means: The sensors that the researchers connect to this central unit via sensor nodes are commercially available – what is new is the platform, via which they communicate with each other, and the language, or rather, the protocol that they use for their communication.
The special part: the sensors need not be installed in a complex manner, they contact the central unit automatically. The required sensors simply need to be inserted and away we go. “The system we developed gets to know the sensors automatically. To achieve this, we developed our own protocol that the sensors and the base unit use to communicate”, says Krüger. Another benefit: the central unit does work similar to a computer, but it has an embedded system with micro-controls and an operating system and therefore is far more energy-efficient: it uses only two watts. In comparison, a PC would use roughly 150 Watts.
A demonstrator comprising the central unit and several sensor nodes already exists. Currently, the sensors are connected via cable, in the future, however, they will radio their data wirelessly to the unit. If some of the sensors are no longer within radio range, they will first send their measurement results to other sensors that are closer to the central unit and which will transmit the signals to the unit. To illustrate the capabilities, the researchers connected to the demonstrator sensors that measure humidity, temperature and leakage. The system also works for any other type of sensor, such as noise sensors. For instance, they might also be used to protect critical infrastructures such as water mains, main electric lines of the electrical grid or railway lines and alert to thieves trying to steal the copper. In these cases, the sensor would detect, for example, noises made by digging. If one sensor detects such a respective noise, it connects via radio to the other sensors and compares the results. The system calculates the exact spot the digging takes place with the help of the data that is recorded by neighboring sensors. The system will emit an alarm if there is an electricity cable or a water main.
Jens Krüger | Fraunhofer-Institut
AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai
15.06.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
Insects supply chitin as a raw material for the textile industry
05.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.08.2018 | Life Sciences