WIRELESS/RF: ZigBee wireless sensor networks extend range to 40 km - Embedded.com

WIRELESS/RF: ZigBee wireless sensor networks extend range to 40 km

LONDON — The Waspmote modular platform for wireless sensor networks from Libelium, (Zaragoza, Spain) has radio modules offering a range of up to 40 km and with ultra low power performance.

Waspmote enables the deployment of fire detection, flood detection and environmental monitoring networks in very remote locations and with adverse conditions.

The modular platform allows users to choose from a range of wireless and sensor modules to create their specific sensor network application.

One of the 802.15.4/ZigBee modules can achieve a range of up to 40 km. The 868MHz module achieves its range through a transmission power of 315mW and -112dBm radio sensitivity.

Waspmote networks can also communicate to the external world by means of GPRS and for situations with very difficult wireless connectivity – such as mines ” each sensor device can store more than 21 million different sensor measurements in its internal memory.

Waspmote offers four power modes ” on, sleep, deep sleep and hibernation. In the hibernate mode, it consumes 0.7 microamperes resulting in outstanding battery performance. The device can keep running for up to 3 years without recharging the battery; although if a small solar panel is added – using its special connector – it can run continuously.

The devices can be accurately located by using the GPS module and this is useful for both static applications such as fire detection and mobile applications such as logistics. The main board contains an in-built accelerometer and when combined with the GPS module the device can be used to measure speed, direction and location of vehicles or containers.

For environmental monitoring, a gas sensor board is available for detecting a wide range of emissions including: carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from forest fires; methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide from farms and hatcheries; nitrogen dioxide from traffic emissions; as well as hydrogen, isobutene and toluene from chemical and industrial processes.

For security, emergency detection and logistics, a physical event sensor board is available to detect events such as: pressure and weight; impact and vibration;presence of liquids; as well as temperature.

Users can extend the Waspmote platform by using the open source API and programming environment. This enables the platform to be easily integrated with third party applications. It can also be extended by addition of different types of sensor.


Related links and articles:

Challenges in capturing and analyzing ZigBee RF4CE networks

Demystifying 802.15.4 and ZigBee

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