AbstractA Swiss SME created an innovative wireless sensor network (WSN) applied to environmental monitoring. Applications are hazards early detection, pollution and infrastructure monitoring, and other applications upon request. The System is long-lived and low-cost, reliable, wireless, Geographic Information System (GIS) based, internet accessible, has automatic alarm. Partners like system integrators / ICT companies to establish common project implementations (commercial & local support) are sought.
DetailsThe Swiss company, in collaboration with an Italian Polytechnic Institute, has developed a remote network of nature which consists in an innovative wireless sensor network (WSN) platform, specialized for the environment.
The stand-alone sensors, integrated microcomputers of the size of a euro cent, constantly monitor physical & environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, motion, water-level, gas emissions, etc. Information is transferred by radio waves to another microcomputer "camouflaged" inside a bird house, for instance; everything is controlled by an own developed operating system, a highly reliable and very low power micro OS.
The operating center software collects and process all the information received from the field devices, autonomously dispatching any received alarm in the form of emails, SMS or phone calls to the authorized people (authorities, rescue teams, safety managers…) within few seconds. Through a common internet connection the users can visualize the area and know in real time the sensor conditions and, by doing so, the overall situation.
The company has the experience of the biggest WSN in the world, with 1’000 sensors installed near Rome, Italy.
SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE (see figure) :
-Sensors : Installed with a firmware allowing status auto-check, system auto-reboot & configured threshold and equipped with a Radio Frequency (RF) signal transmitter (double encoded by own developed algorithm & scrambling hardware).
-Gateways : Installed for instance in ecological wood bird boxes, solar panel powered, they collect the signals coming from the sensors (RF receiver) and report the status and statistical data though General Paquet Radio Service (GPRS) communication (SIM card) to our operating centers. The supply controller handles the voltage supply redundancy and the battery charger recharges the battery by solar energy.
-Operating centers : Interface between the field and the monitoring software. To achieve high availability, there are 2 operating centres (Zurich and Amsterdam). The auto-checks modules continuously control the system consistency and resources (network connection, database consistency and replication system, phone-call switchboard, mail server, sms gateway, peer Open Catalogue Extension (OCE) status). Each message is available online for data analysis for at least 5 years.
-Monitoring software : Easy to install and user-friendly, its 3d graphic user interface offers a central management of the network on field (GIS based), allowing each sensor and gateway to be represented on a Google-earth map. The data is constantly updated and accessible in real-time.
The outcome is a system of quick alert with only five to ten seconds delay from the detection of fire, floods, landslides, gas leakages, etc. to the delivery of the phone call or SMS notification. This system is hardly comparable also in term of number of sensors and coverage area to the solutions adopted nowadays for preventing natural hazards, It is a system setting up a model of environmental signaling that, when used on a large scale, at geographical as well as application level, could radically change the relationship between man and the environment.
Applying the most advanced wireless technologies for a better environmental monitoring, promptly and correctly interpreting the nature signs is, therefore, possible, with decisively promising outcomes. This constitutes an innovation frontier capable of highly improving the interaction between man and nature.
-The multichannel alarms are sent within few seconds (up to 10 seconds) wherever the system is located on the globe.
-There is no competitive and wireless project currently monitoring environmental conditions in term of number of sensors and coverage area.
-The system is long-lifed (10 years lifetime)
-The whole system is developed by company’s engineers (hardware, software & firmware).
-Risk reduction (real-time detection)
-Cost-effective (cheap / intervention cost reduction)
-No supervision (automatic / no fake alarms)
-Reliable (field tested)
-Low maintenance (system auto-reboot, low consumption)
-Low-cost (no intermediary in the supply chain)
-Precise monitoring (GIS Based available online)
-Change the relationship between man and the environment.