Title: Design of a flexible and robust gateway to collect sensor data in intermittent power environments

Authors: M. Zennaro, Antoine B. Bagula

Addresses: KTH Royal Institute Technology, Valhallavagen 79, Stockholm, Sweden; Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, Trieste, Italy. ' Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town, 18, University Avenue, Rhodes Gift, 7707 Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract: The development of a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) gateway is challenging for sites where limited infrastructures lead to frequent power shortages and network unreliability. In this paper, we present a low-power, low-cost 802.15.4 and 802.11 compatible solution which uses open source software to meet local conditions. Using the SunSPOT motes on a system which is mostly platform independent, our system is based on the Fox embedded Linux board and equipped with a USB flash drive and a USB WiFi adapter. The system can be solar powered, and the results of a solar system design are presented. All the hardware components are available off-the-shelf and are easy to assemble. We conclude that our system is preferred for applications in remote areas, where a stable power supply and a reliable network infrastructure are lacking. Furthermore, it can be used to extend the range of WSNs by layering a network of long-range motes above islands of low-range motes.

Keywords: WSNs; wireless sensor networks; embedded devices; wireless networks; power shortages; network unreliability; intermittent power; open source software; solar power; solar energy; sensor data collection; long-range motes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2010.036192

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2010 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.172 - 181

Published online: 27 Oct 2010 *

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