The recent war on terrorism and increased urban warfare has been a major catalysis for increased interest in the development of disposable unattended wireless ground sensors. While the application of these sensors to hostile domains has been generally governed by specific tasks, this research explores a unique paradigm capitalizing on the fundamental functionality related to sensor systems. This functionality includes a sensors ability to Sense - multi-modal sensing of environmental events, Decide - smart analysis of sensor data, Act - response to environmental events, and Communication - internal to system and external to humans (SDAC). The main concept behind SDAC sensor systems is to integrate the hardware, software, and networking to generate 'knowledge and not just data'. This research explores the usage of wireless SDAC units to collectively make up a sensor system capable of persistent, adaptive, and autonomous behavior. These systems are base on the evaluation of scenarios and existing systems covering various domains. This paper presents a promising view of sensor network characteristics, which will eventually yield smart (intelligent collectives) network arrays of SDAC sensing units generally applicable to multiple related domains. This paper will also discuss and evaluate the demonstration system developed to test the concepts related to SDAC systems.
The Hybrid Emergency Radiation Detection (HERD) system is a rapidly deployable ad-hoc wireless sensor network for monitoring the radiation hazard associated with a radiation release. The system is designed for low power, small size, low cost, and rapid deployment in order to provide early notification and minimize exposure. The many design tradeoffs, decisions, and challenges in the implementation of this wireless sensor network design will be presented and compared to the commercial systems available. Our research in a scaleable modular architectural highlights the need and implementation of a system level approach that provides flexibility and adaptability for a variety of applications. This approach seeks to minimize power, provide mission specific specialization, and provide the capability to upgrade the system with the most recent technology advancements by encapsulation and modularity. The implementation of a low power, widely available Real Time Operating System (RTOS) for multitasking with an improvement in code maintenance, portability, and reuse will be presented. Finally future design enhancements technology trends affecting wireless sensor networks will be presented.
Wireless sensor networks allow detailed sensing of otherwise
unknown and inaccessible environments. While it would be
beneficial to include cameras in a wireless sensor network because
images are so rich in information, the power cost of transmitting
an image across the wireless network can dramatically shorten the
lifespan of the sensors. This paper investigates various
compression techniques and what the cost of these algorithms would
be to the lifespan of the sensor nodes. We further describe a new
paradigm for cameras and wireless networks. Rather than focusing
on transmitting images across the network, we show how an image
can be processed locally for key features using simple detectors.
Contrasted with traditional event detection systems that trigger a
an image capture, this enables a new class of sensors which uses a
low power imaging sensor to detect a variety of visual cues.