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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

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 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 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 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”