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Simplified design and deployment of WIRELESS sensor networks

Energy emulatorESTECHNetwork deploymentNetwork designrenewable energyWireless sensor networks

Introduction

The invention determines the most convenient renewable energy source (such as solar cell, micro eolic or thermoelectric generators) to supply wireless sensor networks (WSN) and helps to define essential parameters for WSN design such as number of nodes, their distance and placement and selection of communication protocols in all environmental settings for different scale range networks.

Technical features

The present invention emulates realistic energy supply scenarios in lab, avoiding expensive time-consuming in place trials. It consists of an hardware-software emebedded device solution on top of which it is possible to run different energy source models thanks to a dedicated software layer. The emulator measures the actual current drawn by the sensor node and it adjusts the output voltage level according to the installed energy harvester model. Models can be changed in the field either by loading them from the on-board non volatile memory or by uploading them through the network. The general architecture of the emulator allows the designer to model any energy source and to connect it to any physical mote. The small size of the platform (about 73 × 57 millimeters), together with its low cost (less than $50) make it ideal to be used in large testbeds.

Possible Applications

  • Environmental monitoring;
  • Smart industries;
  • Industrial automation and control;
  • Structural health monitoring;
  • Farming and agriculture monitoring.

Advantages

  • Simplified design of WSNs;
  • Simplified deployment of WSNs;
  • Allows in Lab emulation of realistic energy supply scenarios;
  • Low-size and low-cost hardware device.