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A Flexible Approach to WSN Development and Deployment

Pedrosa , L. ; Melo, P. ; Rocha, R. ; Neves, R.

International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks Vol. 6, Nº 3/4, pp. 199 - 211, October, 2009.

ISSN (print): 1550-1329
ISSN (online): 1550-1477

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,30 (in 2009)

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A flexible Wireless Sensor Network platform for easier implementation of diverse applications has been developed and deployed at the Instituto Superior Técnico / Technical University of Lisbon (IST-TUL). This test-bed integrates multiple projects into a single common network, thus creating an expandable platform that facilitates the development of future applications. To achieve this flexibility, a dedicated software framework was developed that not only provides a centralized configuration panel that is accessible over the Internet, allowing the administrator to configure common network parameters, but also supports application programmability, enabling fine-grained control of in-network sensing, processing, and actuation. On top of this platform, four initial applications have been developed and are currently coexisting within the same network, thus demonstrating the new platform’s capabilities. The article discusses the main issues related with the test-bed architecture and the development of the environmental interaction and the vibration monitoring applications, with an illustrative purpose, along with the deployment challenges. Results of the experimental evaluation of the test-bed are also shown, focusing on the vibration monitoring application’s capacity limits and the performance of the environmental interaction application’s in-network processing system. The vibration monitoring application’s experimental results show that remote processing on sensor nodes is needed to successfully perform multipoint vibration measurements in real-time, as the high frequency sampling used by this system can easily consume all of the network’s resources, if compression schemes are not used. As for the Environmental Interaction Application, a particularly relevant result is denoted by the minimum time it needs to complete its processing tasks within the network (approximately 200 ms in our test topology).