Wireless Sensor Network
To measure real-time data (ex: snowpack) over a large area, we need many sensors planted in representative locations and seamlessly sending back field measurements. A Wireless Sensor Network(WSN) makes the best solution. A WSN is made out of nodes or motes, and every node can be one of the following:
The sensor node basically has sensors attached to it which take reading every interval of time. The manager node (or basestation) is essential to the WSN and receives all the network measurements. The repeater node forwards the data towards the manager node. Adding redundant repeaters makes the network more robust and resilient to failures.
The Neomote chip bundle, provided by Metronome Systems is the building block of our Wireless Sensor Networks. The same chip can be configured as a datalogging, repeater or manager node. This state of the art product combines the latest in ultra-low power wireless and computing, allowing for a quick deployment of massive-scale, distributed sensor networks for measurement and control. It incorporates a highly-configurable system-on-chip, 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M3 microprocessor, with industry-leading, ultra reliable, IPv6-based, low-power true-mesh wireless sensor network technology. It interfaces any digital or analog sensor with its unique array of configurable system blocks allowing for signal acquisition and processing, enabling monitoring and control with high accuracy, high bandwidth, and high flexibility. It hosts an Industry leading IEEE802.15.4-compliant radio chip by Dust Networks® allowing for multi-year long battery life on a pair of AA batteries.
The basestation acts as a 2-way portal. On one hand it collects all the measurements from its WSN and uploads them via satellite or cell modem to the server. In addition, it acts as a remote access point to the WSN from the internet, allowing for remote programming of the network components. This Linux-Neomote(programmed as manager) component automatically coordinates the network based on the mesh protocol.