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Motes and Wireless Sensor Networks Mark G. Faust

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Motes and Wireless Sensor NetworksMark G. Faust

= line powered, routing node

= edge, battery powered, routing node

Recent advances in embedded computing have led to the emergence of wireless sensor networks consisting of small battery powered “motes”, each with a radio transmitter and receiver, microcontroller, and one or more sensors.

Configured in flexible networks, these increasingly inexpensive motes can be deployed in a range of diverse physical environments for a variety of applications including natural resources monitoring, health care, industrial controls, building monitoring, and detection of biological/chemical hazards.

Networks of low power motes can be deployed in remote, inhospitable, or dangerous environments for extended periods of time using battery power or “scavenged” power from sunlight, wind, or even vibration. Once deployed, motes can self-configure into multi-hop networks to sense their local environment, coordinate their activities, and efficiently communicate information “upstream” for further processing.

Many projects are interdisciplinary, drawing upon knowledge of the problem domain as well as mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science.

One application currently under development is remote pole-top transformer monitoring for electric utilities. Another is studying airborne dispersal of pollutants and biohazards in urban environments.Active areas include:

- Hardware platforms

- Software and operating systems

- Application development

- Sensor development

Related areas include robotics, nanotechnology, RF/wireless.

Sensor networks deployed for monitoring seismic activity, mine safety, industrial controls, agriculture, wildlife habitat, and dispersion in urban environments