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Wireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring. Alan Mainwaring, Joseph Polastre, Robert Szewczyk, and David Culler Intel Research Lab. / UCBerkely Seo, Dong Mahn. Contents. Introduction Application Requirements System Architecture Design and Implementation Strategies

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Wireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring

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Wireless sensor networks for habitat monitoring

Wireless Sensor Networksfor Habitat Monitoring

Alan Mainwaring, Joseph Polastre, Robert Szewczyk, and David Culler

Intel Research Lab. / UCBerkely

Seo, Dong Mahn



  • Introduction

  • Application Requirements

  • System Architecture

  • Design and Implementation Strategies

  • Sensor Network Services

  • Current Progress

  • Additional materials

  • Conclusion



  • Habitat and environmental monitoring

  • Technical interests in these applications

    • developing an appropriate sensor network architecture

    • simple, concrete solutions

    • application-driven approach

      • actual problems from potential ones

      • relevant issues from irrelevant ones

    • collaboration with scientists in other fields

Introduction cont

Introduction (cont.)

  • Instrumentation of natural spaces with networked sensors

    • long-term data collection at scales

    • localized measurements

    • detailed information

    • integration of on-board processing, local storage, networking

      • complex filtering and triggering functions

      • application- and sensor-specific data compression algorithms

Introduction cont1

Introduction (cont.)

  • complete integration

    • produces smaller, low-power devices

    • increased power efficiency  flexibility

    • low-power radios with well-designed protocol

  • A specific habitat monitoring application

    • collection of requirements, constraints and guidelines

    • basis for the resulting sensor network architecture in the real-world

    • hardware and sensor platforms

    • patch gateways, basestations and databases

    • design and implementation of the essential network services

      • power management, communications, retasking and node management

Application requirements

Application Requirements

  • Field Stations and Research Overviews

    • Great Duck Island (GDI)

      • 44.09N, 68.15W, 237 acre, State of Maine

      • focus on basic ecology, large breeding colonies of Leech’s Strom Petrels and other seabirds

      • basic environmental parameters

        • light, temperature, humidity, pressure

      • entrance/exit events

    • the James San Jacinoto Mountains Reserve (JMR)

      • 33.48N, 116.46W, 29 acre, California

      • NSF Center : sensing infrastructures, multimedia sensors

      • monitoring ecosystems

        • response of vegetation to climate changes

        • acoustical sensing of birds for identification, estimation populations

Application requirements cont

Application Requirements (cont.)

  • General application requirements

    • Internet access

    • Hierarchical network

      • Field stations need host Internet connectivity and database systems

      • Habitats are located up to several kilometers

      • multiple patches of sensor networks

      • 3 to 4 patches of 100 static (not mobile) nodes

    • Sensor network longevity

      • run for 9 months from non-rechargeable power sources

      • multiple field seasons

Application requirements cont1

Application Requirements (cont.)

  • Operating off-the-grid

    • operate with bounded energy supplies

    • renewable energy

  • Management at-a-distance

    • to monitor and manage sensor networks over the Internet

    • except for installation and removal of nodes

  • Inconspicuous operation

    • should not disrupt the natural processes or behaviors

  • System behavior

    • SNs exhibit stable, predictable, and repeatable behavior

Application requirements cont2

Application Requirements (cont.)

  • In-situ interactions

    • Local interactions

      • initial deployment, maintenance tasks

    • PDA

      • query a sensor, adjust operational parameters, or simply assist in location devices

  • Sensors and sampling

    • light, temperature, infrared, relative humidity, barometric pressure

    • acceleration/vibration, weight, chemical vapors, gas concentrations, pH, noise levels

Application requirements cont3

Application Requirements (cont.)

  • Data models

    • Archiving sensor readings for offline data mining and analysis

    • logs to databases in the wired, powered infrastructure

    • nodal data summaries, periodic health-and-status monitoring

System architecture

System Architecture

  • lowest lever of the sensing application

    • autonomous sensor nodes

      • general purpose computational module

        • programmable unit

        • computation, storage, bidirectional communication

        • with analog and digital sensors

        • 2 advantages from traditional data logging systems

          • can be retasked, can easily communicate

      • application-specific sensing module

    • smaller and cheaper individual sensors

      • higher robustness

      • cooperation

      • multihop network, forwarding each other’s messages

      • in-network aggregation

System architecture cont

System Architecture (cont.)

  • Sensor Gateway

    • each sensor patch

    • communicate with the sensor network and provides commercial WLAN

    • AP is co-located with the base station

    • additional computation and storage

    • enough energy from a car battery

  • Base Station

    • power, housing

    • communicates with the sensor patch via WLAN

    • WAN, persistent data storage

    • “custody transfer” model : SMTP messages, bundles

System architecture cont1

System Architecture (cont.)

  • User interaction

    • access the replica of the base station database

      • easy integration with data analysis and mining tools

    • remote control of the network

      • PDA-sized device, gizmo

System architecture cont2

System Architecture (cont.)

System architecture cont3



Sensor Node

Sensor Patch


Transit Network


Client Data Browsing

and Processing


Base-Remote Link

Data Service

System Architecture (cont.)

Design and implementation strategies

Design and Implementation Strategies

  • Sensor Network Node

    • UC Berkely motes, MICA

    • single channel, 916MHz radio, 40kbps

    • Atmel Atmega 103 microcontroller running at 4MHz

    • 512KB nonvolatile storage

    • 2 AA batteries, DC boost converter

Design and implementation strategies cont

Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

  • Sensor Board

    • environmental monitoring sensor board

    • Mica Weather Board

    • barometric pressure module

      • 0.1 mbar from 300 to 1100mbar

    • humidity sensor

      • 1 picofarad (±3% relative humidity)

    • thermopile, passive infrared sensor

    • photoresistor, temperature

    • unique combination of sensors

      • variety of aggregate operations

Design and implementation strategies cont1

Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

  • I2C analog to digital converter

    • 8 by 8 power switch

  • interoperability

    • 51 pin expansion connector

Design and implementation strategies cont2

Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

  • Energy budget

    • run for 9 months, 2 AA batteries

    • 2200mAh at volts, 8,148 mAh per day

    • sleep state

      • turning off sensors, radio, putting processor into sleep mode

    • modify Mica motes with a Schottky diode

Design and implementation strategies cont3

Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

  • Electro-mechanical Packaging

    • to protect the device, weather-proofing

  • Patch Gateways

    • CerfCube, StrongArm-based embedded system

    • CompactFlash-based 802.11b

    • Linux, IBM MicroDrive up to 1GB

    • Solar panel

  • Base-station installation

    • JMR : T1 line, GDI : two-way satellite connetion

    • turnkey system

Design and implementation strategies cont4

Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

  • Database Management System

    • Postgres SQL database

    • time-stamped reading from sensors

    • health status of individual sensors

    • network

    • metadata

  • User Interfaces

    • GIS systems, statistics and data analysis packages

    • powerful interfaces to relational databases

    • web based interface, gizmo

Design and implementation strategies cont5

Satellite router

WWW power strip

4-port VPN router and

16-port Ethernet switch

IBM laptop #1


Northern WAP

Wireless bridge

Power over LAN midspan

IBM laptop #2

Burrow Camera Configuration

Sensor Patch

12VDC, 0.9A

Southern WAP

12V PoL

Active Splitter


Axis 2401 Video Server


916 MHz

Axis 2130 PTZ South

Web power strip

IR Burrow Camera #1

IR Burrow Camera #5


IR Burrow Camera #6

IR Burrow Camera #2

IR Burrow Camera #7

IR Burrow Camera #3


Power over LAN Midspan

Ethernet switch

IR Burrow Camera #8

IR Burrow Camera #4

Wireless bridge

110VAC service


Design and Implementation Strategies (cont.)

Sensor network services

Sensor Network Services

  • Data sampling and collection

    • cost of data processing and compression against cost of data transmission

    • each packet 25bytes

Sensor network services cont

Sensor Network Services (cont.)

  • Communications

    • hardware and a set of routing and media access algorithms

    • GAF (Geographic Adaptive Fidelity), SPAN

Sensor network services cont1

Sensor Network Services (cont.)

  • proposed approaches for scheduled communication

    • initial routing tree  set each mote’s lever form gateway  schedule nodes  sleep state  following level is awaken and packets are relayed  until completed  entire network return to sleep mode

    • path or subtree

  • low power MAC protocol

    • S-MAC, Aloha

    • turning off radio during idle periods

Sensor network services cont2

Sensor Network Services (cont.)

  • Network Retasking

    • to adjust the functionality of individual nodes

      • duty cycle, sampling rates …

    • tiny virtual machine, Maté

  • Health and Status Monitoring

    • monitoring the mote’s health and the health of neighboring motes

    • Health and monitoring messages sent to the gateway

    • not reliable transport, low latency, infrequently

Current progress

Current Progress

  • deployed

    • two small scale sensor networks in JMR and GDI

    • all core architecture components

  • plan to add an intermediate tier of WLAN

  • need calibration or auto-calibration procedure

  • current focus

    • energy efficient strategies for multihop routing

    • will evaluate

  • intention

    • to develop and package a habitat monitoring kit

    • will be completed in 6 months

    • goal is to tackle the technical problems and to meet the application requirements set

Additional materials

Additional Materials

  • Node architecture advances

    • Problems observed in previous deployment

      • Size – motes were too large to fit in many burrows

      • Packaging – did not provide adequate protection for electronics or proper conditions for sensors

      • Reliability – last retreat talk; high rate of node loss, lack of scientifically meaningful environmental data

      • Power consumption – boost converter a minimal return at a high price

    • New generation of motes to address most of these concerns

      • Platform based on mica2dot

      • Primarily calibrated, digital sensors

      • Multiple application-specific packaging, power, and sensing options

Additional materials cont

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont1

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont2

Additional Materials (cont)

  • Miniature weather station

    • Sensor suite

      • Sensirion humidity + temperature sensor

      • Intersema pressure + temperature sensor

      • TAOS total solar radiation sensor

      • Hamamatsu PAR sensor

      • Radiation sensors measure both direct and diffuse radiation

    • Power supply

      • SAFT LiS02 battery, ~1 Ah @ 2.8V

    • Packaging

      • HDPE tube with coated sensor boards on both ends of the tube

      • Additional PVC skirt to provide extra shade and protection against the rain

Additional materials cont3

Additional Materials (cont)

  • Burrow occupancy detector

    • Sensor suite

      • Sensirion humidity + temperature sensor

      • Melexis passive IR sensor + conditioning circuitry

    • Power supply

      • GreatBatch lithium thionyl chloride 1 Ah battery

      • Maxim 5V boost converter for Melexis circuitry

    • Packaging

      • Sealed HDPE tube, emphasis on small size

Additional materials cont4

Additional Materials (cont)

  • Software architecture advances

    • Bi-directional communication with low-power listenting

      • 0.1% duty cycle

      • Parameter adjustment and query

      • Sample rate changes, sensor status queries

    • Improved power management scheme

      • Fine granularity through StdControl interface

      • 20 uA sleep mode

    • Multihop deployment planned for July

    • What it isn’t: GSK

      • Emphasis on simplicity and reliability, rather than generality

      • Compatible with most GSK server-side interfaces

Additional materials cont5

Additional Materials (cont)

  • Application status

    • Sensor network

      • 26 burrow motes deployed

      • 12 weather station motes deployed (+2 for monitoring the insides of the base station case)

        • Another 14 are awaiting deployment within days

    • Redundant database setup online

      • 2 base stations logging packets to 2 database servers

      • Replication to Berkeley

    • Verification infrastructure

      • Overview cameras in place

      • Burrow cameras temporarily offline, wireless bridge problem

      • Video logging still needs to be synchronized with the mote data service

Additional materials cont6

Additional Materials (cont)

  • Packaging evaluation

    • We observed what happens to motes when packaging fails

      • Battery venting, H2SO3 corroding the entire mote

      • Need to assemble the package correctly – we failed to create proper indication os a good seal

      • Majority of packages survived severe weather!

    • Still awaiting evaluation whether the package creates an environment suitable for sensing

      • Convective heating, etc.

Additional materials cont7

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont8

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont9

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont10

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont11

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont12

Additional Materials (cont)

Additional materials cont13

Additional Materials (cont)

  • http://www.jamesreserve.edu/

Additional materials cont14

Additional Materials (cont)

  • http://www.greatduckisland.net/



  • Habitat and environmental monitoring

    • important class of sensor network applications

  • collaborating with

    • College of the Atlantic and the James Reserve

  • low-level energy constraints of the sensor nodes

  • data delivery requirements

  • energy budget

  • Tight energy bounds and the need for predictable operation guide the development of application architecture and services.



  • http://www.jamesreserve.edu/

  • http://www.greatduckisland.net/

  • Robert Szewczyk, Joe Polastre, Alan Mainwaring, “Fresh from the boat: Great Duck Island habitat monitoring”, June 18, 2003

  • Alan Mainwaring, Joseph Polastre, Robert Szewczyk, David Culler, John Anderson, “Wireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring”, ACM WSNA’02, September 28, 2002, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

  • Joseph Robert Polastre, “Design and Implementation ofWireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring”

  • Kemal Akkaya, Mohamed Younis, “A Survey on Routing Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks”

  • Wei Hong, “Overview of the Generic Sensor Kit (GSK)”

  • Robert Szewczyk, “Application-driven research on TinyOS platform”

Wireless sensor networks for habitat monitoring

Thank you!

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