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Archive for February, 2010

12Km ZigBee link with Waspmote

During the research of the Waspmote sensor platform, several tests were made using different kinds of transceivers according to frequency bands (2.4GHz, 868MHz and 900MHz) and transmission power (1mw, 100mW, 315mW).

The tests performed in the Monegros Desert (Spain) had the purpose of testing the capabilities and limits of the 802.15.4/ZigBee radios integrated in Waspmote. These results were presented at the European Wireless Sensor Network Conference (EWSN2010) last week in Coimbra (Portugal) as a collaboration between the Royal Institute of Technology – KTH, Stockholm (Sweden), the University of Cape Town, Cape Town (South Africa) and Libelium.

Among the 6 different links (356m, 639m, 1239m, 3810m, 6363m,12136m) were chosen Line of Sight (LOS) and Non Line of Sight (NLOS) configurations which were tested always using omnidirectional antennas (2dBi, 5dBi).

Read the complete article here.

EWSN 2010 Keynote Video: "The Next Decade of Sensor Networking"

More info here.

Sensors Never Sleep

Imagine a job that involved sitting in front of a refrigerator 24 hours a day and checking its temperature every five minutes. It is doubtful many people would apply. Plus, what organization would want to spend the money on that person’s salary? It might be nice to be sure the temperature in the refrigerator remained constant, but is  it really worth it in the scheme of things? How much would the owner be out if just one refrigerator breaks?

Try $80,000. That’s how much a research pharmacy lost when one of its refrigerators failed over one week-end. The unit contained $80,000 worth of research pharmaceuticals, which all had to be thrown out. That’s quite a loss for one weekend.

The complete article is available here.

New G-Node mote announced

SOWNet Technologies has been using TinyOS in production for a while now, and they’ve just released a new development platform, the G-Node. It has a CC1101 radio (868 MHz) and an MSP430F2418 microcontroller. The platform isn’t in the TinyOS repository, but they have put together quite a nice development kit which includes a complete TinyOS 2.0 toolchain.

Together with the Technical University of Delft, they’ve also designed a modular test bed with sensor emulation: each test bed unit consists of a mini-PC with an I/O board with dedicated SPI/I2C/UART/ADC connections for up to four nodes.

You can find more information here.

Contiki 2.4 Released

The Contiki team is proud to announce the release of version 2.4 of the Contiki operating system! Contiki 2.4 brings a number of new improvements over previous versions, several bugfixes, and an overall improved stability of the system. The low-power wireless MAC protocols have gotten an overhaul, improving power-efficiency and improved collision and interference handling. The COOJA/MSPsim simulation environment has received a significant speedup. Two new experimental platforms are included: the Crossbow MicaZ and the Sensinode CC2430/8051 platform. Many improvements and bugfixes has been made to the uIP code as well as the SICSlowpan implementaion of 6lowpan IPv6-over-802.15.4. See the changelog for full details and go to the download section to download the 2.4 release!

For more information click here

HotEMNETS 2010- Deadline extended

The Sixth Workshop on Hot Topics in Embedded Networked Sensors (HotEmNets 2010) brings together wireless sensor network researchers from academic and industrial backgrounds to present groundbreaking results that will shed light on present and future research challenges.

Due to numerous request, the paper deadline has been extended.
New deadline: 1 March 2010.

For more information go to the workshop website

6LoWPAN seminar video

The seminar gave a good overview of 6LoWPAN and the general contents of the book “6LoWPAN: The Wireless Embedded Internet“, covering about half of the course material slides and lasts for 80 minutes. Enjoy!
6LoWPAN Seminar Video (80 minutes, MP4) Recorded 6.12.2009

HP and Shell develop wireless sensing system for oil exploration

Hewlett Packard and Shell have agreed to develop a wireless sensing system that will be used to acquire high-resolution seismic data for the oil and gas industry.

According to Cliff Saran of ComputerWeekly, the two corporations are in the process of designing wireless accelerometer sensors, similar to the controllers used in the Nintendo Wii, but a “thousand times more accurate.”

The sensors are apparently based on microelectromechanical devices (Mems), which were originally developed for HP print heads.

“These Mems devices have been developed to take electrical signals and convert them to ink droplets,” HP spokesperson Rich Duncombe told Computer Weekly.

More info here.

WSN and wireless chicken study

A one-page paper announcing that wireless technology is for the birds. Or at least the chickens. Michigan State University has plucked a $375,000 federal grant to study the habits of commercial egg-laying hens by using wireless sensors to track “activity profiles.” That’s academic speak for how the hens pass the time when not laying eggs, cackling or playing coy with roosters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying researchers to hook up chickens with a “hen-mountable wireless system” to study how they interact with other birds. The work will help the farmers know how much space hens need and what types of “non-cage housing systems” will provide the “best possible welfare for the animals,” according to MSU.

“Ultimately, the sensors will tell us what behavior a hen is performing. Is she laying an egg? Eating? Or roosting on a perch? Does she fly or walk to move around?” Janice Siegford, a professor of animal science at MSU, said in a statement.

More info here.

Submit your Sensors

Two former founders of MaxStream Inc, the leading embedded wireless networking company acquired by Digi International in 2006, are taking a unique approach to bringing wireless sensor products to market. Brad Walters and Nick Mecham have partnered at Monnit Corporation, to invite engineers desiring to introduce wireless sensors to collaborate with them through a web-based program called “Submit your Sensors.”

This initiative provides deep marketing resources to engineers who have viable low-cost sensor technology ready for introduction to the market.

“During our time at MaxStream, we were approached by many of our wireless customers requesting sensor technology – but that wasn’t our business at the time,” said Brad Walters, Monnit’s CEO.  “While selling our wireless technology, we met with many creators of custom sensors that had never considered expanding their offering beyond their niche market focus. As we launch Monnit, our intent with ‘Submit Your Sensors’ is to do just that – invite engineers who have developed unique sensor technology to allow us to review and potentially sell their wireless sensor technology to a larger audience through us and our growing networks.”

The “Submit Your Sensors” website is a portal for design engineers to present their sensors for review by answering a few questions.  If the wireless sensor technology seems to fit the Monnit plan, they will be contacted to further discuss working together towards an agreement.

The website is accessible here.


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