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A simple and inexpensive wireless sensor network

A newly developed wireless network of sensor nodes displays increased advantages including low-cost, easy maintenance and multiple functionalities such as self- configuration, multi-hop and ad-hoc operation. This advancement may find broad range applications from industrial monitoring and metering to home automation and patient monitoring.
A simple and inexpensive wireless sensor network
A German institute highly specialised in the development of fully customised wireless applications has recently produced a wireless network of ten or even more nodes. These gather and send data directly or indirectly - with the aid of "multi-hop" functionality through neighbour nodes - to a specified base station. Moreover, this advanced technology constitutes a low power intensive (up to 8.25 mW), flexible and inexpensive solution for fixed, portable or moving equipment.

The increased fault tolerance and redundancy in the network paths optimises the reliability of the system. The network operates in 433MHz, 868MHz and 915MHz frequency bands and " data rate is 9.2 kbits/s in multi-hop" operation while this becomes higher when multi-hopping is absent. Additionally, this small-size module may be embedded in systems with small form factors such as many sensors automation or networking applications, as well as body area networks and monitoring systems.

With the aid of a microcontroller, the module may perform data pre-processing on recently received data or compute over previously received data. Through digital or analog-ADC interface, the use of multiple sensors offers simultaneous reception of specific information. Unlike traditional systems, this network allows the easy setup of external sensors at difficult locations and offers system designers increased capabilities for using sensors, actuators and back-end data collection.

Furthermore, this robust and adaptable network may be used in monitoring, sensing or actuator equipment in various applications. These include home networking, building automation, supply chain management, metering, agriculture, industrial automation and patient monitoring. Collaboration is sought with industries interested in using the technology for development of applications.
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