Libelium Logo Sensor Applications for a smarter world

Smarter City

Smart Parking : Monitoring of parking spaces availability in the city.
Structural health : Monitoring of vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges and historical monuments.
Noise Urban Maps : Sound monitoring in bar areas and centric zones in real time.
Smartphone Detection : Detect iPhone and Android devices and in general any device which works with WiFi or Bluetooth interfaces.
Electromagnetic Field Levels : Measurement of the energy radiated by cell stations and WiFi routers.
Traffic Congestion : Monitoring of vehicles and pedestrian levels to optimize driving and walking routes.
Smart Lighting : Intelligent and weather adaptive lighting in street lights.
Waste Management : Detection of rubbish levels in containers to optimize the trash collection routes.
Smart Roads : Intelligent Highways with warning messages and diversions according to climate conditions and unexpected events like accidents or traffic jams.

See Related Articles

1. Smart City project in Santander to monitor Parking Free Slots

Libelium World:

Smart City project in Santander to monitor Parking Free Slots

SMART SANTANDER project, which has been developed by several companies and institutions including Telefonica I+D and University of Cantabria, aims at designing, deploying and validating in Santander and its environment a platform composed of sensors, actuators, cameras and screens to offer useful information to citizens. 375 Waspmotes have been deployed to monitor parking free slots.

The city of Santander was divided in 22 different zones. Each zone had a Meshlium to gather the data from the sensors and the number of sensors depended on the area to cover. Each zone had different network parameters, creating independent networks that work on different frequency channels not to interfere with each other.

375 Waspmotes were deployed in different locations within the city of Santander, measuring magnetic field to detect whether a parking slot is free. Magnetic field sensor is connected to Waspmote through the Smart Parking Sensor Board. smart_parking_ancho_entero

Fig. 1.- Smart Parking Sensor Board

These sensors detect the variation of the magnetic field generated by a car parked on it. To do that, the sensor is buried under the surface of the road inside a waterproof casing. The hole is closed using a specific material and it is barely detectable at a glance.

Fig. 2.- Real installation in the city of Santander

The information is sent periodically to the repeaters and then to the Meshlium, which stores the data and updates the information available for citizens. There are a series of panels located within the city of Santander to indicate the number of free parking slots. This information is updated every 5 minutes to allow the citizens to find a free parking spot in the shortest time.

Fig. 3.- Visual panels to inform about the number of free parking slots

The status of the parking slots is also updated in a map for being consulted by citizens before go to the city center. mapa_3_ancho_entero

Fig. 4.- Interactive map that shows the availability of free parking slots

As a result of this project, environmental parameters can be monitored for further study as well as citizens can also know free parking slots within Santander’s city center. Furthermore, SmartSantander project is a large-scale network for experimentation that allows researchers from all over the world to test different algorithms in a real environment.

To explain this large project in detail we have written another 2 articles:

If you want to know more details about environmental sensors, please visit this article.

General overview of the project can be found in this article.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

2. Smart City project in Serbia for environmental monitoring by Public Transportation

Libelium World

Smart Parking and environmental monitoring in one of the world’s largest WSN Smart Parking and environmental monitoring in one of the world’s largest WSN

Around 75 percent of the population of the European Union has chosen urban areas as their place to live. The Smart City concept as the next stage in urbanization has gained ground with policymakers, leading to investment in human and social capital, resource management and new developments in environmental sustainability. Smart Cities can be considered as ecosystems, albeit with a high technical component. This type of urban metabolism is an open and dynamic system that consumes, transforms and releases materials and energy, develops and adapts to changes, and interacts with humans and other ecosystems.

Air pollution harms human health and the environment. Despite the fact that automobile and industrial emissions have decreased in recent years, air pollutant concentrations remain high and air quality problems persist. A significant proportion of Europe’s population lives in areas—notably cities—where air quality standards have exceeded emission limits for several air pollutants: ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pollution pose serious health risks. The danger is local, regional and also international as air pollution emitted in one country may be carried long distances by the atmosphere to other locations, resulting in poor air quality there.

Environmental noise also affects a large number of Europeans and the public perceives it as one of the major environmental problems. It can affect people in both physiological and psychological ways, interfering with basic activities such as sleep, rest, study and communication.

In response to citizen demand and driven by three main aspects of governance, a new concept for cities is taking hold to offer a better quality of life to citizens, minimize environmental impact, and reduce costs. The Parking scenario is one of the most important problems present in a city that involves all three factors. Throughout the world, atmospheric pollution and congested roads depreciate the quality of life, resulting in lost time for drivers and wasted fuel. The European Commission estimates that economic losses due to traffic delays total €150 billion per year in Europe. The need to search for available parking spaces is a significant contributor to widespread congestion and a major cause of stress for motorists. Based on calculations in Barcelona, Spain, a million drivers spend an average of 20 minutes every day looking for a parking spot, producing 2,400 tons of CO2 emissions.

Smart Santander Project

SMART SANTANDER project, which has been developed by several companies and institutions including Telefonica I+D and University of Cantabria, aims at designing, deploying and validating in Santander and its environment a platform composed of sensors, actuators, cameras and screens to offer useful information to citizens. 1125 Waspmotes have been deployed to monitor different parameters such as noise, temperature, luminosity, CO and free parking slots.

Fig. 1. – SmartSantander location

Unique in the world, SmartSantander is really a city-scale experimental research facility in support of typical applications and services for future Smart Cities. This exceptional experimental facility is sufficiently large, open and flexible to enable horizontal and vertical federation with other experimental facilities, and to stimulate development of new applications by various types of users including experimental advanced research on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, based on the realistic assessment of users’ acceptability tests. The project envisions the deployment of 20,000 sensors in the European cities of Belgrade, Guildford, Lübeck and Santander (12,000), exploiting a large range of technologies.

Within this article we will focus on Santander deployment. If you want to know more about Belgrade deployment, please visit this case study.

The Solution

This project can be better explained with the following diagram, showing the nodes, the networks created and their connection to the cloud.

Fig. 2. – Solution diagram

One of the main challenges we encountered during the SmartSantander project was the Over-the-Air-Programming (OTAP) development needed to program all the nodes wirelessly and remotely. Libelium collaborated with the University of Cantabria to improve the OTAP system, creating a more robust network that can be upgraded at any time from any place.

In this project 1,125 Waspmotes were deployed in different locations within the city of Santander, to measure five different parameters:

Temperature
Luminosity
CO
Noise
Free Parking Slots

These five sensors are connected to Waspmote through the Gases Sensor Board (CO sensor), Parking Sensor Board (parking), Smart Cities Sensor Board (noise sensor) or directly to Waspmote (temperature and luminosity).

Fig. 3. – a) Gas Sensor Board b) Parking Sensor Board c) Smart Cities Sensor Board

Each sensor has two radios for communicating at 2.4GHz (except for the parking sensors). On one end of the communication, DigiMesh is the protocol selected to send the environmental information. On the other hand, IEEE 802.15.4 protocol is used to carry out experiments within the network. All the nodes within the SmartSantander network can be used to test new algorithms without any downtime, while citizens still receive information about their environment.

To explain this large project in detail we have written 2 articles more focused on each part:

If you want to know more details about environmental sensors, please visit this article.
Parking information can also be extended in this article.

If any of these five parameters goes above a certain threshold, the system analyzes the information and may react by sending an alarm to the central node (the wireless gateway, Meshlium, in this case). To know where a sensor is located, each Waspmote can integrate a global positioning system (GPS) that delivers accurate position and time information.

Libelium offers several wireless modules for the radio communication:

Fig. 4. – Distance reached depending on the protocol

We can reach up 40 km with Line of Sight (LOS) conditions using the 868MHz module. The high performance of Waspmote makes the readings really accurate and the transmission is highly reliable and flexible, placing the nodes at an average separation of 1,5 km.

It is also possible to transmit the data via GPRS/3G, as a secondary radio module for better availability and redundancy in situations when it is critical to ensure that the message is received, as for fire alarms. Because the GPRS/3G module is quad-band it can operate in four different frequency bands and supports any cellular connection provider, making it able to work all over the world. In this way, the project we are describing is suitable for any country.

One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9 mA, ON mode
62 μA, sleep mode
0,7 μA, hibernate mod

Waspmote is sleeping most of the time, in order to save battery. After some minutes (programmable by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes again to sleep mode.

Deployment process

Deployment of the wireless sensor network was carried out by IDOM and TTI Norte, two Spanish companies specialized in telecommunications and engineering. First, a coverage study was done to know where to place sensors and repeaters to maximize the area covered by the project. The coverage study divided the city in 22 different zones.

Fig. 5. – 1 zone of Santander including Meshlium and its sensor nodes

Each zone had a Meshlium wireless gateway to gather the data from the sensors: the number of sensors depended on the area to cover. The process involved deploying zone by zone, to create independent networks that work on different frequency channels without any interference from one another.

First, the sensors were calibrated to check that their output was accurate. Once they had been calibrated, they were randomly tested to pass Libelium’s quality control. Each node was placed within an IP-65 box that could be deployed under the harsh conditions of the city of Santander.

Fig. 6. – SmartSantander box that contains Waspmote with a noise sensor

The sensors were placed on light lamps or building fronts, trying to minimize the visual impact on the city. Each box contains the electrical equipment necessary to be connected to light lamps without any danger to public installations. They are connected to the line through residual current circuit breakers and fuses to avoid electrical problems. A transformer adapts the current and voltage to power the nodes.

Fig. 7. – SmartSantander sensor box placed on a light lamp (Waspmote inside)

On the other hand, Waspmotes were deployed in different locations within the city of Santander, measuring magnetic field to detect whether a parking slot is free. Magnetic field sensor is connected to Waspmote through the Smart Parking Sensor Board. These sensors detect the variation of the magnetic field generated by a car parked on it. To do that, the sensor is buried under the surface of the road inside a waterproof casing. The hole is closed using a specific material and it is barely detectable at a glance. ground_santander_490

Fig. 8. – a) Waspmotes buried under the road surface b) Displays to show free parking spots

Each Meshlium gathers the data from all the sensors within its zone, stores the data in a MySQL database and sends the information to the Internet through a 3G or Ethernet connection. Meshliums are placed on the top of buildings to maximize the area covered.

Fig. 9. – Meshliums used in SmartSantander project

As a result of this installation, environmental parameters can be monitored for further study and citizens can also know them thanks to real-time maps available for viewing. Furthermore, the SmartSantander project is a large-scale network for experimentation that allows researchers from all over the world to test different algorithms in a real environment.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

3. Smart Parking and environmental monitoring in one of the world’s largest WSN

Libelium World

Smart City project in Serbia for environmental monitoring by Public Transportation

A clean air supply is essential to our own health and that of the environment. But since the industrial revolution, the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably - mainly as a result of human activities. The issue of air quality is still a major concern for many European citizens. It is also one of the areas in which the European Union has been most active. Since the early 1970s, the EU has been working to improve air quality by controlling emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, improving fuel quality, and by integrating environmental protection requirements into the transport and energy sectors. Waspmote has been used to control public transportation and monitor environmental parameters in several cities in Serbia.

World Health Organization (WHO) establishes that "the environment is a major determinant of health, estimated to account for almost 20% of all deaths in the WHO European Region". Different analyses and reports have revealed that:

Some 40 million people in the 115 largest cities in the European Union (EU) are exposed to air exceeding WHO air quality guideline values for at least one pollutant. Children living near roads with heavy-duty vehicle traffic have twice the risk of respiratory problems as those living near less congested streets.

Indirect effects of air pollution, such as climate change, are becoming increasingly evident. Transport is the fastest growing source of fossil-fuel emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the largest contributor to climate change.

Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) presented an analysis of air quality in European cities for the 2004-2008 period using the European Environment Agency's (EEA) AirBase database. Elementary data from urban background stations were combined into a single indicator - the average number of times that legally-defined concentration limits were exceeded.

Fig. 1.- Summary air quality indicator by European Macro-Region

As it can be concluded from the different reports and analyses, air quality is improving though in some regions it is still far from a healthy value. For this reason, monitoring environmental parameters is vital to understand where the main pollution points are and try to reach an appropriate value in each city.

EkoBus Project

EkoBus system has been developed in collaboration with Ericsson, which has been deployed in the cities of Belgrade and Pancevo. The system utilizes public transportation vehicles to monitor a set of environmental parameters over a large area as well as to provide additional information for the end-user like the location of the buses and estimated arrival times to bus stops.

Fig. 2.- EkoBus location

EkoBus is framed within SmartSantander project. It proposes a unique in the world city-scale experimental research facility in support of typical applications and services for a smart city. This project is funded by the European Union through its Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) program. Project Consortium consists of different companies and Universities such as: Telefonica, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, University of Cantabria or University of Surrey.

This unique experimental facility will be sufficiently large, open and flexible to enable horizontal and vertical federation with other experimental facilities and stimulates development of new applications by users of various types including experimental advanced research on IoT technologies and realistic assessment of users' acceptability tests. The project envisions the deployment of 20,000 sensors in different European cities such as Belgrade and Pancevo (Serbia).

The solution

This project can be better explained with the following diagram:

Fig. 3.- Solution diagram

65 Waspmotes were deployed in two different locations; measuring 6 parameters:

Temperature
Relative humidity
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
GPS location

These 5 sensors are connected to Waspmote through the Gases Sensor Board, which contains the electronics needed to implement an easy hardware integration of these sensors.

Fig. 4.- Waspmote Gases Sensor Board

The amplification stage of each sensor is trimmable, to allow a better integration of the specific sensor, as there can be variations from one sensor to another one of the same model. Moreover, this characteristic allows us to focus the accuracy of Waspmote in a region of interest. Besides, it is possible to switch each sensor on separately, as their power supply lines are independent and can be controlled by Waspmote in real time. In order to know where this sensor is located, each Waspmote can integrate a GPS, that delivers accurate position and time information.

Libelium offers several wireless modules for the radio communication:

Fig. 5.- Distances reached depending on the protocol

So we can reach up 40 km with Line of Sight (LOS) condition using the 868MHz module. The high performance of Waspmote makes the readings really accurate and the transmission is highly reliable and flexible.

It is also possible to transmit the data via GPRS, as a secondary radio module for better availability and redundancy in situations when it is critical to ensure the reception of the message. The GPRS module is quad-band (it can operate in 4 different bands, so it supports any cellular connection provider), making it able to work all over the world, therefore this project we are describing is suitable for any country. Data are sent via GPRS in this project as the buses are moving all over the city.

One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9mA - ON mode
62uA - sleep mode
0,7uA - hibernate mode

Waspmote is sleeping most of the time, in order to save battery. After some minutes (programmable by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes again to sleep mode. Each device can be powered with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, making the system very autonomous.

Deployment process

Typically, calibration is performed in certified laboratories and is a complex and expensive process. As such, it is not applicable in scenarios with hundreds and thousands of sensors, which could be also already deployed on different places. As the starting point for the sensors calibration in the system, some sensors have been calibrated very precisely. Their calibration is done in a laboratory, and all the other sensors are calibrated by comparison with reference sensors.

Waspmote, Gases Sensor Board, Sensors, GPRS and GPS devices were placed inside an enclosure to be able to be set on the roof of the buses. With such a position, constant reading of these parameters are performed whenever the vehicle is moving and in this way, data are collected from various locations. With the help of GPRS data communication, all readings are delivered to the server where it is processed and stored. Crossing sensors and GPS modules in the device provided values that were read at a certain location, and the current position of the vehicle, the speed of its movements.

Fig. 6.- EkoBus device which contains Waspmote

Once the sensor nodes have been validated by a large number of tests, they were deployed in two cities of Serbia, being divided in two groups of 60 and 5 sensors each one.

Fig. 7.- Waspmote placed on the roof of the buses

Sensor nodes make measurements and periodically send the results to the server application for further analysis and database storage. Web and Android application collect information from the nodes and perform their visualization (location of the vehicles and atmospheric measurements).

Fig. 8.- Web and Android application for monitoring environmental parameters

It is also possible to request information about the arrival time of the next bus on a certain line to a certain bus stop via SMS or USSD and to receive that information via SMS. The GPRS module is responsible for this feature.

Fig. 9.- Web and Android application for monitoring bus location

Analysis of the stored data is used for various traffic calculation and prediction. Accordingly, additional information is available from the MYSQL database:

Static data: geolocations and names of the stations, geolocations of curves and semaphores on the bus route, bus timetables, IMEI of the GPRS modules which are mounted on the buses, average time that bus spends at the specific station, initial average time of bus travel between two consecutive stations.

Dynamic data: calculated average time of bus travel between two consecutive stations for the different part of day and week.

These nodes are powered by an external power supply connected to the bus battery. Taking advantage of Waspmote's saving energy features and external, power supply these motes are autonomous.

As a result of this project, environmental parameters can be monitored for further study as well as citizens can take advantage of buses location.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

Smart Environment

Applications

1. Forest Fire Detection : Monitoring of combustion gases and pre-emptive fire conditions to define alert zones.
2. Air Pollution : Control of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated in farms
3. Snow Level Monitoring : Snow level measurement to know in real time the quality of ski tracks and allow security corps avalanche prevention.
4. Landslide and Avalanche Prevention : Monitoring of soil moisture, vibrations and earth density to detect dangerous patterns in land conditions.
5. Earthquake Early Detection : Distributed control in specific places of tremors.

See related Articles

1. Smart City project in Salamanca to monitor Air Quality and Urban Traffic

Libelium World:

case_study_representativa_4

Smart City project in Salamanca to monitor Air Quality and Urban Traffic

Nowadays, the highest percentage of air pollution comes directly from road traffic and not anymore from large industries, currently placed outside metropolitan & urban areas. Road traffic is considered to be responsible for 25% of all emissions in Europe, rising up to 31% only in Spain. Moreover, 90% of all transport emissions are due to road traffic. Loss of environmental quality is one of the biggest threats of our century to health and human well-being, together with environmental impacts. Waspmote is monitoring environmental parameters in the city of Salamanca.

Research advises that present increase of respiratory and other related diseases is due to air pollution, as well as the increase of allergies that diminish in so many aspects people's quality of life. According to European Union official data, 225.000 people died in Europe of diseases related with emissions from cars. Out of this 15.000 only in Spain, this makes five more times than the mortality rate by car accident. To overcome this threat, the European Union legislation has become stricter and intends to reduce car emissions by 20% until 2020.

As the European Environment Agency (EEA) says: "Ozone and PM are the most problematic pollutants for health, potentially causing or aggravating cardiovascular and lung diseases and leading to premature death. Eutrophication, an oversupply of nutrient nitrogen in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is another major problem caused by air pollutants. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) from combustion processes are now the main acidifying and eutrophying air pollutants, as sulphur pollution has fallen in recent years."

A recent EEA report establishes that approximately 17 % of European citizens live in areas where the EU target for ozone concentration was exceeded in 2009. If ozone levels are compared to the more stringent World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, more than 95% of the EU urban population was exposed to ozone exceeding this level. This report also says that 12% of the European urban population live in areas with urban background (non-traffic) concentrations of NO2 exceeding EU and WHO levels.

RESCATAME Project

Pervasive Air-quality Sensors Network for an Environmental Friendly Urban Traffic Management (RESCATAME) is a project funded by the European Union through its LIFE program. The Consortium consists of the following members: CARTIF, European BIC Network, Salamanca City Hall and Research Advisory Group P&G. Its main goal is to achieve sustainable management of the traffic in the City of Salamanca by using two key-elements: a pervasive air-quality sensors network as well as prediction models.

Fig. 1.- RESCATAME location

The pervasive air-quality sensors network is currently being tested in the city of SALAMANCA (Spain), where the expected positive impact on reducing air pollution levels improves human health and environment, but also the cutback of the pollution impacts on world heritage monuments that make the city very famous, as UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988 & European Capital of Culture in 2002.

The project is collecting data to prove that, by using the data collected from the sensors located across the city, providing full time and geographically coverage at low cost, municipalities can efficiently achieve a way of better managing urban traffic in major European cities.

The solution

This project can be better explained with the following diagram:

Fig. 2.- Solution diagram

35 Waspmotes were deployed in two different locations; measuring 7 parameters:

Temperature
Relative humidity
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Ozone (O3)
Noise
Particle

These 7 sensors are connected to Waspmote through an special Sensor Board made for this project, which contains the electronics needed to implement an easy hardware integration of these sensors

Fig. 3.- Sensor board designed for RESCATAME project

This sensor board has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of this project as Libelium provides custom hardware design.

The amplification stage of each sensor is trimmable, to allow a better integration of the specific sensor, as there can be variations from one sensor to another one of the same model. Moreover, this characteristic allows us to focus the accuracy of Waspmote in a region of interest. Besides, it is possible to switch each sensor on separately, as their power supply lines are independent and can be controlled by Waspmote in real time.

If any of these 7 parameters goes above a threshold, then the system analyzes the information and may react sending an alarm to the central node (Meshlium in this case). In order to know where this sensor is located, each Waspmote can integrate a GPS, that delivers accurate position and time information.

Libelium offers several wireless modules for the radio communication:

Fig. 4.- Distances reached depending on the protocol

So we can reach up 40 km with Line of Sight (LOS) condition using the 868MHz module. The high performance of Waspmote makes the readings really accurate and the transmission is highly reliable and flexible.

It is also possible to transmit the data via GPRS, as a secondary radio module for better availability and redundancy in situations when it is critical to ensure the reception of the message, like possible fire alarms. The GPRS module is quad-band (it can operate in 4 different bands, so it supports any cellular connection provider), making it able to work all over the world, therefore this project we are describing is suitable for any country.

One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9 mA, ON mode
62 μA, sleep mode
0,7 μA, hibernate mode

Waspmote is sleeping most of the time, in order to save battery. After some minutes (programable by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes again to sleep mode. Each device is powered with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, making the system very autonomous.

2 Meshliums were used to gather the data of the different nodes and send them via GPRS. Meshlium is the only multiprotocol router in the world capable of interconnecting up to 5 technologies:

WSN: 802.15.4 / ZigBee
WiFi: 2.4GHz or 5GHz at high or low power
GPRS: quadband
Bluetooth: communication with cellular phones or PDAs
Ethernet

Meshlium implements an easy connection between these 5 communication protocols. In this case, it gathers the info of the Waspmote ZigBee wireless network and sends it to the Control Center via WiFi.

Meshlium's IP65 enclosure allows it to work in outdoors conditions. Regarding to the power supply, it can be connected to a solar panel or to the lighter of a car, so that it can work without problems outdoors. The battery in every Waspmote allows an operational life of many months or even years without any power supply like the sun, depending on how much time Waspmote is on. However, if there is a solar panel, Waspmote can work indefinitely in theory.

When the frames arrive to Meshlium, then it implements a parsing, dividing all the data in small pieces or variables that are stored in a MySQL Server Data Base. Once the data has been saved in the Data Base, then it is possible to manage it in the way we need.

Deployment process

For an accurate measurement, sensors have been calibrated in professional laboratories in order to provide the best results in this project. As one of the partners (CARTIF) say, "The biggest problem faced in this project has been related to sensors calibration as there are no companies available to carry out this process". To solve this drawback, they "have developed their own calibration methods".

Fig. 5.- Calibration process

After being calibrated, the sensor nodes were placed inside their outdoor enclosure and were tested in both indoor and outdoor conditions.

Fig. 6.- Testing process

Once the sensor nodes have been validated by a large number of tests, they were deployed in two streets of the City of Salamanca, being divided in two groups of 25 and 10 sensors each one.

Fig. 7.- Node installed in Salamanca

These nodes are powered by a solar panel and an external regulator which is connected to a battery. Taking advantage of Waspmote's saving energy features and solar energy, these motes are autonomous.

To help in the transmission of the data, 2 Meshliums were also installed, gathering the info and sending it via GPRS.

As one of RESCATAME members say, "Pollution and traffic control system developed within RESCATAME project has 6 parts: monitoring, modeling, statistical analyze, dissemination, deployment and evaluation". One of RESCATAME goals is "creating a data platform to inform, understand, assess and evaluate the impact of the actions applied to improve the accessibility, approach congestion problems, improve air quality and start a Traffic Information System".

RESCATAME project has created an external data base to store the data from the two Meshliums in order to show the sensor data in a web application. This sensor data will be used for the predictive models so that traffic management can be improved.

Since Waspmote fits all their requirements, RESCATAME "decided to use Waspmote platform as it was the one which more approaches to our necessities and it was a Spanish provider".

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

2. Sensor networks to monitor air pollution in cities

Libelium World:

Sensor networks to monitor air pollution in cities

Studies show that more than 16,000 people die prematurely in Spain by breathing polluted air, being the traffic responsible for up to 80% of that pollution. This figure is 4 times greater than the number of annual traffic accident victims. In Europe, CO2 emissions from road transport (half of them come from urban transport) have increased by 32% since 1990. Each liter of fuel burnt is issuing up to 2.3 kg of CO2. Thus, each person who uses the car for journeys to work (with an average distance of approximately 15 km) emits about 2 tonnes of CO2 a year. The increase also generates more traffic jams, which cause a loss of 100,000€ million per year in the European Union. Monitor pollution levels in central cities is key to provide adequate information to citizens and take actions to reduce it.

On September 22nd, the "Day Without Cars" was celebrated as culmination of the European Mobility Week with a very low level of followers. One of the reasons for explaining the "failure" of the initiative is the lack of motivation, perhaps caused by the low level of information on the vehicle use impact. Curiously, pollution is one of the reasons that most degrade the quality of life in cities.

The following chart shows a ranking of european cities accordingly to environmental criteria. The complete study, that is UE funded, is available here.

Pollution monitoring and display to the citizens is essential to compare the impact of measures taken by municipalities and public institutions and raise public awareness. For example, monitoring of pollution in Stockholm city center made its citizens to approve in a referendum approve a congestion tax for accessing to downtown. The results were a 22% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 18% reduction in the average time of jams. Other cities such as London, Brisbane and Singapore have adopted similar measures.

The importance of these emissions is so high that even the air we breathe is regulated by the European Commission in the Directive 96/62 on air quality, which aims to ensure public health of citizens.

Waspmote along with the gases sensor board allows to monitor the following parameters to determine the quality of the air we breathe:

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2):

it is a gas produced by the rapid oxidation of NO, which is produced by burning fossil fuels in vehicles and industry. It is a toxic and irritating gas that affects the respiratory system and also encourages the production of nitric acid (HNO3) responsible for acid rain.

Carbon dioxide (CO2):

it is a gas naturally present in our atmosphere. Together with water vapor and other gases is one of the greenhouse gases that regulate Earth's temperature. Production in excess as a result of increased fossil fuel usage could have a direct impact on climate change.

Carbon monoxide (CO):

it is produced in incomplete combustion, ie, when part of the fuel does not react completely due to a lack of oxygen. Its danger to humans and animals, once it sets in blood hemoglobin, it prevents oxygen transport, which can be lethal. Although in open space is easily diluted, the CO emission from the engines of cars in congested areas causes may have rates of 50-100ppm, which are dangerous.

Methane (CH4):

it is produced when organic materia decomposes in oxygen-poor environments. As carbon dioxide, it is a greenhouse gas so its increase may contribute to global warming.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S):

it is emitted into the atmosphere by various industries, such as paper. It is particularly dangerous because it is a highly toxic gas and it is a sulfur dioxide precursor, one of the gases in the processes of formation of acid rain.In addition, this gas is specially annoying because of its foul smell.

Hydorcarbons (Ethanol, Propane, Butane, Isobutane, Toluene):

they come from various sources, such as poor combustion of gasoline and diesel or indsutrial processes. They are, among others, responsible for greenhouse effect and contribute to produce respiratory problems.

Ozone (O3):

it is a natural constituent that can be found at sea level with a concentration of 0.01 mg / kg. However, with intense solar radiation and high contamination coming from vehicles, its concentration can go up to 0.1 mg / kg being dangerous. In this proportion, the plants may be affected and human may experience irritation of nasal passages and throat and dryness in the lining of the respiratory tracts.

Monitoring air pollution with Waspmote is simple and cost effective due to it is features of wireless communication via the protocol 802.15.4 / Zigbee and battery power source, which make the deployment of a sensor network to operate for years easy and fast. Solar panels can recharge the batteries, ensuring a virtually perpetual operation. Finally, the GPRS module ensures data communication at all times while allows to sens SMS alerts according to defined thresholds.

Sensor networks deployed with Waspmote may consist of heterogeneous sensor motes, thus using the same network to monitor environmental pollution, as described above, ultraviolet radiation, park and garden irrigation management and even detect forest fires.

If you have any doubt about how to monitor the parameters mentioned in this article with Waspmote, do not hesitate to contact us asking for support.

3. Detecting Forest Fires using Wireless Sensor Networks

Libelium World:

Detecting Forest Fires using Wireless Sensor Networks

case_study_representativa_2

How long do you want to wait to know there is fire in the forest? Most of the times, when someone notice about the fire, it is too late because the fire has spread.

forest_fire_2

Apart from preventive measures, early detection of fires is the only way to minimize the damages and casualties.

DIMAP-FactorLink, which under the name of SISVIA Vigilancia y Seguimiento Ambiental jointly commercialize projects for the environmental protection, have developed and integrated a forest fires detection system using the products of Libelium. The covered area is about 210 hectares in the North Spain region, comprising the Communities of Asturias and Galicia. The aim was to provide to different organizations of an environmental monitoring infrastructure, with capability to have alert management and to deliver early warning alarms.

mapa_google

The solution

We can point out 3 main parts in the system:

the Wireless Sensor Network
the Communications Network
the Reception Center

Lets see a general diagram of the whole system here:

environmental_infra_sm

90 Waspmotes were deployed in strategic locations; 4 parameters are measured each 5 minutes:

Temperature
Relative humidity
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
waspmote_3

These 4 sensors are connected to Waspmote through the Gases Board, which contains the electronics needed to implement an easy hardware integration of a lot of different gas sensors:

Carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Molecular Oxygen (O2)
Methane (CH4)
Molecular Hydrogen (H2)
Ammonia (Nh2)
Isobutane (C4H10)
Ethanol (Ch2CH2OH)
Toluene (C6H5Ch2)
Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
atmospheric pressure
gases_3

The amplification stage of each sensor is configurable to allow a better integration of the specific sensor. Moreover, this characteristic allows us to focus the accuracy of Waspmote in a region of interest. Besides, it is possible to control the power of each sensor separately, as their power supply lines are independent and can be controlled by Waspmote in real time.

sisvia_2

Most of the sensors are affected by 3 parameters: relative humidity, atmospheric pressure and temperature, for this reason Libelium offers these sensors in the Gases Board, to minimize the error and get more accurate readings.

If some of these measured parameters goes above the configured threshold, then the system analyzes the information and reacts sending an alarm to the firefighters. They will know instantly that there is a fire and where it is with accuracy, because each Waspmote can integrate a GPS, that delivers accurate position and time information. The firefighters will be able to know where the fire is spreading with real-time information, which is important in order to know how the fire behaves.

Video

One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9 mA, ON mode
62 μA, sleep mode
0,7 μA, hibernate mode

Waspmote is sleeping or hibernating most of the time, in order to save battery. After a predefined interval (programmed by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes back to the sleep mode. Each device is powered with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, making the system completelly autonomous.

Libelium offers several wireless modules for the radio communication:

LibeliaumWorld-Table1

So we can reach up 40 km with Line of Sight (LOS) condition usin the 868MHz module. The high performance of Waspmote makes the readings really accurate and the transmission is highly reliable and flexible, placing the nodes at a mean separation of 1,5 km.

It is also possible to transmit the data via GPRS, as a secondary radio module for better availavility and redundancy in situations when it is critical to ensure the reception of the message, like possible fire alarms. The GPRS module is quadband (it supports any cellular connection provider), making it able to work all over the world, therefore this project we are describing is suitable for any country.

To help in the transmission of the data, 2 Meshliums were also installed, gathering the info and sending it via WiFi.

Meshlium is the only multiprotocol router in the world capable of interconnecting up to 6 technologies:

WSN: 802.15.4 / ZigBee
WiFi: 2.4GHz or 5GHz at high or low power
GPRS: quadband
Bluetooth: communication with cellular phones or PDAs
GPS
Ethernet

Meshlium implements an easy connection between these 6 communication protocols. In this case, it gathers the info of the Waspmote ZigBee wireless network and sends it to the Control Center via WiFi.

sisvia_1

Another application of Meshlium is using it to provide connection from a harsh environmet to entire cities. Meshlium is protected with an IP65 enclosure that allows it to work in outdoors conditions. Regarding to the power supply, it can be connected to a solar panel or to the lighter of a car, so that it can work without problems in the forests.

When the frames arrive to Meshlium, it parsers them dividing all the data in small pieces or variables that are stored in a MySQL Server Data Base. Once the data has been saved in the Data Base, then it is possible to manage it in the way we need. SISVIA created a Control Panel to show all the info with a graphic interface. The solution was integrated with a GIS (Geographic Information System), placing the data on helpful and nice 2D or 3D maps.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Wasmote here

Smart Water

Forest Fire Detection : Monitoring of combustion gases and pre-emptive fire conditions to define alert zones.
Air Pollution : Control of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated in farms
Snow Level Monitoring : Snow level measurement to know in real time the quality of ski tracks and allow security corps avalanche prevention.
Landslide and Avalanche Prevention : Monitoring of soil moisture, vibrations and earth density to detect dangerous patterns in land conditions.
Earthquake Early Detection : Distributed control in specific places of tremors.

See Related Articles

1. Smart City project in Salamanca to monitor Air Quality and Urban Traffic

Libelium World:

Smart Water project in Valencia to monitor Water Cycle Management

The history of human beings is closely tied to water. Fresh water has been a key factor in the emergence of civilizations, not only for direct human consumption but also for agriculture and animal husbandry. The growth of communities and their increasing dependence on a steady water supply led to the creation of primitive waterworks to ensure that supply. The great civilizations of the ancient world all sprung up around abundant water supply. Rivers were vital to irrigation and the growth of commerce. Much later, industrialization and its expansion were also dependent on water supply and the use of waterways.

Mankind has been clever and creative with respect to the use of water, but also the cause of its contamination and shrinking availability. Worldwide, falling groundwater levels, disastrous droughts and calamitous floods are increasingly attributable to human activity, and deteriorating water quality is directly so.

Although every living organism on earth is dependent on water, humans use it far in excess of their survival needs. Fresh water from reservoirs and wells is used for countless purposes, and water consumption is constantly expanding. In the past century alone, total worldwide water consumption increased six times.

Fig. 1.- a) Total Freshwater withdrawal by region b) Freshwater use by sector and region (Both 2010 updated)

Integrated Water Cycle Management is a way for local water utilities to sustainably manage their water systems to maximize benefits to the community and environment. This cycle starts with precipitations that allow rivers, lakes or reservoirs to contain water. Next, this water is treated and stored for later domestic or agriculture use. Finally, water is treated to be purified before being returned to the environment.

Fig. 2.- Integrated Water Cycle Management

Water cycle is vital for any city so it must be monitored in order to assure a perfect system performance. The network of sanitary sewers of a city manage the disposal and stormwater harvesting, and the transport, control and treatment of wastewater. This system must work perfectly and it must be able to react against unexpected situations in order to minimize the economic losses produced by natural disasters such as floods.

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) can help to monitor environmental conditions and water quality, allowing an easier, faster and cheaper data logging, which will lead into a better utilization of resources of each organization or government.

PRETESIC Project

PRETESIC project has been developed by the Institute of Computer Technology (ITI) in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and Telefonica Cathedra, and it has been deployed in the city of Valencia (Spain). This system is able to monitor water quality by measuring different environmental parameters and its main advantage is to minimize the time required to deploy a wireless sensor network in a particular area. These kind of networks are known as Quick Deployment Sensor Networks (QDSN).

Fig. 3.- Project location

PRETESIC is aimed at monitoring Valencia's network of sanitary sewers in real-time to determine the quality of water and thus, establish whether elements within the network are working properly. In this way, the system is able to react against unexpected situations, avoiding possible damages that natural disasters such as floods usually provoke in cities.

One of the main advantages of this project is to allow the deployment of a wireless sensor network in an easy and affordable way in any part of a city. Other kind of systems should require an study about the area where the network is going to be deployed. However, PRETESIC allows to deploy the sensor nodes anywhere and start to receive data immediately.

On the one hand, these sensor nodes have been used to measure water parameters such as PH, temperature, conductivity or redox, which allow to determine water quality and check whether the different processes within water cycle are working properly. On the other hand, this system allows to detect possible engines or water pumps problems, preventing them from stopping and saving a huge amount of money.

The solution

This project can be better explained with the following diagram:

Fig. 4.- Solution diagram

PRETESIC nodes use Waspmotes and are able to measure different parameters:

Temperature
PH
Conductivity
Redox
Turbidity
Chemical Demand of Oxygen (D.Q.O.)
Ammonia
Toroids to measure energetic efficiency

These sensors are connected to Waspmote through the Proto Sensor Board, which contains the electronics needed to implement an easy hardware integration of these sensors.

Fig. 5.- Waspmote Proto Sensor Board

PRETESIC nodes are able to measure from up to three 4-20mA sensors thanks to the integration done over Proto Sensor Board. Figure 6 shows an internal view of these nodes.

Fig. 6.- PRETESIC node using Waspmote and Proto Sensor Board

The main characteristics of these nodes are:

Each node has a LCD screen and a control panel to display the measurements, use the fast deployment sensor tools and configure the nodes. These features let any worker deploy the network in an easy way and with no previous planning.

Battery life up to 1 week (up to months if panel solar is used).

These nodes accept any type of sensor (configuring the node previously).

In order to know where this sensor is located, each Waspmote can integrate a GPS, that delivers accurate position and time information.

Libelium offers several wireless modules for the radio communication:

Fig. 7.- Distances reached depending on the protocol

So we can reach up to 12 km with Line of Sight (LOS) condition using the 868MHz module. It is also possible to transmit the data via GPRS/3G, as a secondary radio module for better availability and redundancy in situations when it is critical to ensure the reception of the message. The GPRS/3G module is quad-band (it can operate in 4 different bands, so it supports any cellular connection provider), making it able to work all over the world, therefore this project we are describing is suitable for any country.

One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9mA, ON mode
62uA, sleep mode
0.7uA, hibernate mode

Waspmote is sleeping most of the time, in order to save battery. After some minutes (programmable by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes again to sleep mode. Each device can be powered with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, making the system very autonomous.

Deployment process

Because one of the main features which would provide PRETESIC system was the ease to deploy a wireless sensor network anywhere, each node was provided with a remote setting. Thus, each node can be configured remotely and the sensor from which it is going to measure can be modified. All of this, in a graphic and simple way, so that a worker without any special skills could pull it off.

One of the characteristics of these nodes is that they are endowed with an HMI to see whether the node has radio coverage. This screen also provides information about the sensor connected to the node as we can see in Figure 8.

Fig. 8.- PRETESIC node

The deployment process for this project is different from other projects in which the nodes have a fixed location. In this case, PRETESIC system can be installed anywhere during some hours and then move to another part of the city to measure again.

Figure 9 explains the deployment process is carried out every time a new area wants to be covered by PRETESIC system.

Fig. 9.- PRETESIC process to deploy a network

Once the network has been deployed, the mobile unit starts to receive data. These data are sent over the Internet to a remote server which stores and treat them. At the same time, workers, who are receiving data in real-time in the mobile unit, can see these data on their screens thanks to a powerful software. Thus, workers can know whether the data received are correct or there is a problem in the measurement. Figure 10 shows an example of several graphs generated in the mobile unit.

Fig. 10.- PRETESIC software to analyze measurements

As a result of this project, water quality and water cycle can be monitored in real-time in order to check that all the elements within the network of sanitary sewers are working properly and to be able to react against an unexpected situation. Therefore, a huge amount of money can be saved by minimizing the effects of a natural disaster and preventing parts of the water cycle from breaking.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

More information about the project and its deployment can be seen in the following video:

VEDIO

2. Sensor networks to monitor air pollution in cities

Libelium World :

Smart Water Sensors to monitor water quality in rivers, lakes and the sea

Libelium launched a Smart Water wireless sensor platform to simplify remote water quality monitoring. Equipped with multiple sensors that measure a dozen of the most relevant water quality parameters, Waspmote Smart Water is the first water quality-sensing platform to feature autonomous nodes that connect to the Cloud for real-time water control. Waspmote Smart Water is suitable for potable water monitoring, chemical leakage detection in rivers, remote measurement of swimming pools and spas, and levels of seawater pollution. The water quality parameters measured include pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), conductivity (salinity), turbidity, temperature and dissolved ions (Na+, Ca+, F-, Cl, Br-, I-, Cu2+, K+, Mg2+, NO3-).

The Waspmote Smart Water platform is an ultra low-power sensor node designed for use in rugged environments and deployment in Smart Cities in hard-to-access locations to detect changes and potential risk to public health in real time.

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Water model

Waspmote may use cellular (3G, GPRS, WCDMA) and long range 802.15.4/ZigBee (868/900MHz) connectivity to send information to the Cloud, and can accommodate solar panels that charge the battery to maintain autonomy. Smart Water nodes are ready to deploy out of the box and sensor probes can be recalibrated or changed in the field, with kits provided by Libelium.

“Smart Water is an improvement on existing water quality control in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and low operational costs. For municipalities, water quality detection and monitoring systems have to be reliable, autonomous, and flexible,” said David Gascón, CTO at Libelium. “With Waspmote, a full Smart Water solution is now available at a price point ten times less than current market solutions, for better management of water resources.”

Applications:

Potable water monitoring: Common chemical parameters include pH, nitrates and dissolved oxygen. Measuring O2 (or DO) is an important gauge of water quality. Changes in dissolved oxygen levels indicate the presence of microorganisms from sewage, urban or agriculture runoff or discharge from factories. A right level of ORP minimizes the presence of microorganisms such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria. Levels of Turbidity below 1 NTU indicates the right purity of drinking water.

Chemical leakage detection in rivers: Extreme pH or low DO values signal chemical spills due to sewage treatment plant or supply pipe problems.

Swimming pool remote measurement: Measuring oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), pH and Cloride levels of water can determine if the water quality in swimming pools and spas is sufficient for recreational purposes.

Pollution levels in the sea: Measuring levels of temperature, salinity, pH, oxygen and nitrates gives feedback for quality-sensing systems in seawater.

Corrosion and limescale deposits prevention: By controlling the hardness of the water we can avoid the corrosion and limescale deposits in dishwashers and water treatment devices like heaters. Water hardness depends on: pH, temperature, conductivity, and Ca+/ Mg2+ concentrations.

Fish Tank Monitoring (Aquaculture/Aquaponics): Measuring the water conditions of aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks. Important values are pH ,Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and water temperature.

Hydroponics: Plants that take the nutrients directly from the water need a precise pH and Oxygen in water (DO) levels to get the maximum growth.

Smart Water Sensor Board + Probes for Waspmote OEM

Waspmote Smart Water Technical Characteristics:

Sensor probes measure more than 12 chemical and physical water quality parameters such as pH, nitrates (NO3), dissolved ions (Na+, Ca+, F-, Cl, Vr-, I-, Cu2+, K+, Mg2+, NO3-) dissolved oxygen (DO), conductivity (salinity), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), turbidity, temperature, etc. Pollutants can be detected and treated in real-time, to ensure good water quality over an entire water supply network. Extreme pH values may indicate chemical spills, treatment plant issues, or problems in supply pipes. Low levels of DO may indicate the presence of microorganisms due to urban/agricultural runoff or sewage spills. ORP measures how well water sanitization is working.

Waspmote transmits sensor readings to the Cloud via 3G, GPRS, or WCDMA cellular connections; in the case of several nodes located in the same zone, Waspmote sends values to the Meshlium Internet Gateway via long range RF bands 868MHz and 900MHz. Sensor data is available in real time, even from sensor nodes situated in remote locations.

CE / FCC /IC certification and quad-band cellular connectivity (850/900/1900/2100MHz).Waspmote supports any cellular connection provider, and is ready for deployment in any country in the world.

The new Smart Water sensors are available for both Waspmote lines:

Waspmote Plug & Sense! [Ready to deploy in final projects]

Waspmote OEM [To be embedded in a third party product line]

Download here the Smart Water Technical Guide.

For more information about the Libelium’s new Smart Water Sensors contact our Commercial Team.

Smart Metering

Smart Grid : Energy consumption monitoring and management.
Tank level : Monitoring of water, oil and gas levels in storage tanks and cisterns.
Photovoltaic Installations : Monitoring and optimization of performance in solar energy plants.
Water Flow : Measurement of water pressure in water transportation systems.
Silos Stock Calculation : Measurement of emptiness level and weight of the goods

Security & Emergency

Perimeter Access Control : Access control to restricted areas and detection of people in non-authorized areas.
Liquid Presence : Liquid detection in data centres, warehouses and sensitive building grounds to prevent break downs and corrosion.
Radiation Levels : Distributed measurement of radiation levels in nuclear power stations surroundings to generate leakage alerts.
Explosive and Hazardous Gases : Detection of gas levels and leakages in industrial environments, surroundings of chemical factories and inside mines

See Related Articles

1. Wireless Sensor Networks to Control Radiation Levels

Libelium World :

Sensor Networks to protect people from Ultraviolet Radiation in the summer

Ultraviolet solar radiation is involved in many biochemical processes, in the case of human beings in the production of vitamin D and melanin, but overexposure may result in highly harmful effects, such as erythema, sunburn and even skin cancer. This way, it comes to be of great importance to know the intensity of the radiation in a determined instant in order to choose the right protection and avoid the exposure in those moments when it may result more harmful.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are some key facts which have to be taken into account:

Skin cancer is caused primarily by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Globally in 2000, over 200.000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed and there were 65.000 melanoma-associated deaths.

The UV radiation is not uniform in a medium size territory. It varies depending on:

Sun elevation: the higher the sun in the sky, the higher the UV radiation level.

Latitude: the closer to the equator, the higher the UV radiation levels.

Cloud cover: UV radiation levels are highest under cloudless skies but even with cloud cover, they can be high.

Altitude: UV levels increase by about 5% with every 1000 metres altitude.

Ozone: ozone absorbs some of the UV radiation from the sun. As the ozone layer is depleted, more UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface.

Ground reflection: many surfaces reflect the sun’s rays and add to the overall UV exposure (e.g. grass, soil and water reflect less than 10% of UV radiation; fresh snow reflects up to 80%; dry beach sand reflects 15%, and sea foam reflects 25%).

UV is composed of three different types, depending on its wavelength: C-ultraviolet radiation (CUV), in the range between 100nm and 280nm, B-ultraviolet radiation (BUV), between 280nm and 315nm, and A-ultraviolet radiation (AUV), between 315nm and 400nm. The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful it is, but also the atmospheric attenuation is higher. Thus, CUV is the most noxious of the three, but it hardly arrives at the Earth's surface, while AUV, which reaches the soil with more intensity, has a much lower effect. In practice, BUV is the most dangerous.

The Ultraviolet Index (UVI) is the international standard for UV measurement, developed by WHO, the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization. It is designed to indicate the potential for adverse health effects and to encourage people to protect themselves. The higher the UVI value, the greater the potential for damage to the skin and eye, and the less time it takes for harm to occur. Sun protection should be used when the UV index reaches 3 or above.

The new Agriculture Sensor Board for the Waspmote platform integrates a Radiation Sensor (SQ-110) which works in the 400-700nm band, the optimum to control the quality of the photosynthesis of the plants. However, this sensor board is ready to use the SQ-100 Radiation Sensor which works in the BUV radiation band (240-400nm). This means we can use the Agriculture Sensor Board not only to detect the environment conditions for the plants but to control if the impact of the sun is harmful in a certain place for the people who are there.

The Waspmote platform along with the Agriculture Sensor Board allows the creation of distributed UV measurement points at any place in order to cover a big area such as the coasts where people moves each summer to enjoy the beaches.

Waspmote can last for years with a single battery; however, it can also be powered from a solar panel getting perpetual lifetime. As the communications are doing wiressly using the ZigBee and GPRS protocols the information can be transmitted at any local or central point where can be processed and stored, generating alarms when the values are in the High or Very High level in the UV Index.

The sensor outputs a voltage proportional to the energy received in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum (between 240nm and 400nm of wavelength) with a sensitivity of 0.15mV for each micromol per square meter per second (µmol/m²s).

To calculate the received power in watts per square meter from this unit, which indicates the number of photons that reach the surface of the sensor each second, it is necessary to know the exact distribution of the radiation along the spectrum. This means knowing in detail which intensity of radiation corresponds to each frequency, since the energy transmitted by a photon is a function of the frequency associated to it.

In the graph below we can see how the intensity of radiation received in the sensor changes over a day from 9:00 to 24:00. The test was carried out on a clear day, 17th June 2010, in the Libelium headquarters -Zaragoza, Spain

We can also see some valleys caused by the cloud attenuation which quickly go back to the normal value once the clouds go away. The intensity of the radiation increases until the highest point is reached between 14:30 - 15:00 then it starts decreasing progressively until it reaches zero at dusk.

The UVB sensor is already available inside the Agriculture Sensor Board the Waspmote site. If you have any doubt about how to get the exact configuration to make this application with our platform do not hesitate to contact us.

2. Sensor Networks to protect people from Ultraviolet Radiation in the summer

Libelium World:

Wireless Sensor Networks to Control Radiation Levels

Manifesto

The creation of the Radiation Sensor Board has been motivated by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima after the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. We want to help authorities and security forces to measure the levels of radiation of the affected zones without compromising the life of the workers. For this reason we have created an autonomous battery powered Geiger Counter which can read the radiation levels automatically and send the information in real time using wireless technologies like ZigBee and GPRS.

The design of the sensor board is open hardware and the source code is released under GPL.

The Libelium Team. April 2011.

---------------

The idea is simple, each node acts as an autonomous and wireless Geiger Counter. It measures the number of counts per minute detected by the Geiger tube and send this value using ZigBee and GPRS protocols to the control point. The system is powered with high-load internal batteries what ensures a lifetime of years.

With this technology radiation measurements can be known in real time without compromising the life of the security corps members as they do not have to be inside the security perimeter in order to activate the Geiger counters. The information is extracted automatically and sent wirelessly to the Gateway of the network.

Prevention and Control Radiation Sensor Network

The Prevention and Control Radiation Sensor Network is formed by dozens of sensor devices deployed in the surroundings of the nuclear power plant and reaching the closest cities. Sensor nodes are installed in street lights and threes and take power from the internal battery which, at the same time is recharged using a small solar panel giving unlimited lifetime to the system. The nodes read the value of the Geiger tube during an specific time interval and calculate the number of counts per minute which are generated by the interaction of the radioactive particles. Then this value is sent using the ZigBee radio to the Gateway of the network which stores the information in an Internet data base.

Emergency Radiation Sensor Network

If a radiation leakage occurs in a place where there is not a previously installed radiation sensor network, an emergency deployment can be done in just a couple of hours. Security corps just need to spread the sensor nodes on the ground at certain places. Sensor nodes will take the power from special high load internal batteries which will ensure the control network to be working for months. Each of these points will send the information by using a TCP/IP connexion through the GPRS network or sending SMS alarms when the values are over a certain threshold.

Technology

There are two different usages of the Radiation Sensor Board. The first one is explained in a different article, the second one is treated here.

USB Geiger Counter: It can be used as a personal Geiger Counter being powered by a USB connection though the Arduino board. It is a cheap and easy way for personal users to monitor specific objects and certain places near home. More info here.

Wireless and Autonomous Geiger Counter: This is the usage described in the current article using the Waspmote platform. The idea of this technology is double, on the one hand this technology allows to to monitor as a prevention procedure the surroundings of a nuclear power plant along with the closest cities autonomously without the need of human intervention, and on the other hand it let us quickly deploy emergency control points when a radioactive leakage happens.

The sensor node is composed by:

Waspmote (core unit)
Radiation Sensor Board + Geiger tube
ZigBee radio
GPRS radio
GPS module
Battery (6600mA. Rechargeable Lithium Batt.)

How the Radiation Sensor Network works

Waspmote has a cyclic behaviour. It sleeps most of the time in order to save battery. At specific intervals it wakes up and during 1 minute reads the pulses which are being generated in the Geiger tube calculating the counts per minute. Then it compares this value with the alarm thresholds already predefined. If normal values are found they are sent using the ZigBee radio to Meshlium, the Gateway of the network and the values stored in an Internet data base.

If the values are above the security threshold defined, as well as being sent through the ZigBee network they are also directly transmitted to the security corps by an SMS alarm with the GPRS radio or event directly sent to the Internet via a TCP/IP socket.

Along with the value extracted from the Geiger counter, Waspmote adds also the GPS information (latitude, longitude) in order to give the exact location of the radiation source.

Types of Radiation

There are three types or radioactive particles, Alpha, Beta and Gamma which are generated in the nuclear power plants.

Alpha:

Alpha radiation consists of positively (+2) charged particles emitted from the nucleus of an atom in the process of decay. These particles are also very dense which, with their strong positive charge, precludes them from penetrating more than an inch of air or a sheet of paper. Because of this, Alpha particles are not a serious health hazard, except when they are emitted from within the body as a result of ingestion, for instance, when their high energy poses an extreme hazard to sensitive living tissue.

A weak form of ionizing radiation detectable on some models of Geiger counters, typically those that incorporate a thin mica window at one end of the Geiger -Mueller tube.

Beta:

Beta radiation consists of negatively charged (-1) particles emitted from an atom in the process of decay. These particles are relatively light and can penetrate somewhat better than an Alpha particle, though still only through a few millimetres of aluminium at best. If ingested, Beta radiation can be hazardous to living tissue. A relatively weak form of ionizing radiation detectable on many Geiger counters, generally dependent on the thickness of the Geiger-Mueller tube wall or the existence of a window at the end of the tube.

Gamma:

Gamma radiation represents one extreme of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly that radiation with the highest frequency and shortest wavelength. (That same spectrum also includes the more familiar X-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared rays, microwaves, and radio waves, listed in order of decreasing frequency and increasing wavelength from Gamma rays.) Gamma rays can pass through virtually anything, and are effectively shielded or absorbed only by materials of high atomic weight such as lead. Gamma rays are produced naturally by the sun and other bodies in outer space, their transmission to earth being known as "cosmic radiation". A very powerful and potentially very dangerous type of ionizing radiation detectable on virtually all Geiger counters.

Background radiation:

Certain minerals that make up part of the earth containing the radioactive elements Uranium and/or Thorium also emit Gamma rays. This, along with the cosmic radiation (Gamma rays which come from the sun and other stars), combine to produce the "background count" of a Geiger counter. This might typically be in the range of 15 to 60 counts per minute, but will vary depending upon your location on the earth, your altitude, and the efficiency of the Geiger counter. The background count should always be factored in or "subtracted" from the overall reading derived from a specific radioactive source.

Common background radiation goes from 0.041μSv/h to 0.081μSv/h (3650 - 7200μSv/year).

Sources: Wikipedia, Blacksmith Institute, Geigercounters.com

In the video the sensor board is tested using Vaseline Glass which has been previously highly charged using ultraviolet light. This radioactivity level lasts only a couple of minutes but is enough to see how the irradiated Beta and Gamma particles are detected.

VEDIO

Particles detected by the Radiation Sensor Board

The Geiger tube integrated in the Radiation Sensor Board is sensible to Beta and Gamma particles as they can be detected in a ommnidirectional way. This means that no matter the orientation of the Geiger sensor respect from the source of radioactivity, just the distance. For this reason we ensure that setting the nodes in the right places is the key in order to detect a possible leakage from the Nuclear Power plant.

From counts per minute to Servants

The unit measure by the Geiger Tubes are basically the number of pulses generated. This means that in one second we will have "n" counts (counts per second - cps) and in 1 minute the counts per minute (cpm). This value is common for all the Geiger Tubes, however, it is not an energy value but just the number of pulses. In order to get the real energy irradiated and the amount that is absorbed by a body we need to get how many Sieverts per hour are producing these pulses.

The formula which passes from cpm to Sieverts depends mostly on the Geiger Tube: the size, the shape, the material, the sensibility, the dead time, the type of particle measured, etc. Normally a conversion factor can be extracted from the charts provided by the manufacturer in the calibration process:

cpm * conversion factor = μSv/h

For example, the conversion factor for the LDN-712 tube is 0.00233 and for the SBM-20 is 0.00277. This means that detecting 120cpm will have the next value depending on the tube used.

LDN-712 : 120 * 0.00233 = 0.27μSv/h
SBM-20 : 120 * 0.00277 = 0.33μSv/h

Buy

The first serie is already out of stock as it has been shipped directly at no charge to some working groups in Japan. If you are interested please make the preorder as soon as possible to ensure the disponibility in the second batch.

You can get just the Radiation Sensor Board in order to integrate your own Geiger tubes or buy it in a "ready to use" pack along with the Geiger tube already soldered.

Radiation Sensor Board
Radiation Sensor Board + Geiger Tube

Please contact us if you are interested in the Radiation Sensor board for the Waspmote platform.

Industrial Control

M2M Applications : Machine auto-diagnosis and assets control.
Indoor Air Quality : Monitoring of toxic gas and oxygen levels inside chemical plants to ensure workers and goods safety.
Temperature Monitoring : Control of temperature inside industrial and medical fridges with sensitive merchandise.
Ozone Presence : Monitoring of ozone levels during the drying meat process in food factories.
Indoor Location : Asset indoor location by using active (ZigBee) and passive tags (RFID/NFC).
Vehicle Auto-diagnosis : Information collection from CAN Bus to send real time alarms to emergencies or provide advice to drivers.

See Related Articles

1. Smart Roads : Wireless Sensor Networks for Smart Infrastructures: A Billion Dollar Business Opportunity

Libelium World:

Smart Roads – Wireless Sensor Networks for Smart Infrastructures: A Billion Dollar Business Opportunity

Worldwide governments spend a huge amount of money on transport infrastructure. In the U.S., the infrastructure budget stands at 2.4 percent of GDP while Europe invests still more - 5 percent of GDP. Other countries spend even more in infrastructure costs every year: China will invest around nine percent of GDP on roads, power lines and bridges in the near future.

Large-scale investment is well underway. Europe is already on track to create a sustainable transport network with a project called "Connecting Europe Facility, aimed at increasing the benefits of pan-European freight and passenger traffic infrastructure projects. This Fund will have a capital of 40 billion euros and an additional 10 billion euros available from the Cohesion Fund. It will finance projects in transport, energy and information technologies. Over the next seven years, Europe will invest around €22bn solely in transport infrastructure. The U.S. is set to double infrastructure funds and will spend $476 billion through 2018 on highway, bridge and mass transit projects.

Smart Roads applications

The use of sensors can contribute to these projects by creating a series of smart applications that may lead to a better and safer world. Throughout the years, many transport infrastructures-bridges, tunnels or viaducts-have collapsed due to natural disasters or because of poor maintenance. One of the best examples is the bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 that killed 13 people and injured 145. In 2008, this bridge was re-built using a sensing system to collect data regarding structural behavior and corrosion.

Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge ( Greece)

Monitoring bridges is one of the more successful applications of Smart Roads. For instance, the six-lane, 2.9 km Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge in Greece is outfitted with 100 sensors that monitor its condition. Soon after opening in 2004, the sensors detected abnormal vibrations in the cables holding the bridge, which led engineers to install additional weight to dampen the cables. The sensor networks for these kinds of bridges include accelerometers, strain gauges, anemometers, weigh-in-motion devices and temperature sensors.

Wireless sensors can also be used to monitor the state of road surfaces. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) carried out a research project to detect the number of potholes in a road, using Boston taxis to cover the entire city. A similar approach was undertaken by the University of Sri Lanka to monitor Sri Lanka´s roads.

Additionally, monitoring systems in tunnels are also widespread around the world. From air flow to visibility, and a wide range of gases (CO, CO2, NO2, O2, SH2 and PM-10) are the most demanded parameters to monitor air quality inside tunnels. At this time, many of these systems are wired installations: the deployment of Wireless Sensor Networks would save money, increase safety and reduce installation times.

Weather conditions are highly related to road safety. There are a lot of different weather applications in which Wireless Sensor Networks can improve safety in our roads. Weather stations or remote sensors to measure temperature, humidity and other similar parameters are already being used in highways to make them Smart Roads. But why not extend it at a higher level? As an example, the Madrid city government has recently installed a series of temperature sensors buried under the road surface to monitor the appearance of ice plates in real time.

Furthermore, other real time applications are being developed and carried out using wireless sensors, such as monitoring water levels on viaducts, creating noise maps in roads close to cities or even monitoring traffic congestion. Fortunately, the use of Smart Roads technology has only just begun. Do you want to know what´s next?

What is to come

Future Smart Roads applications are about to come to our lives, and most of them will improve our quality of life. According to Logan Ward in Popular Mechanics, American drivers log nearly twice as many kilometers as they did 25 years ago on roads that have increased in capacity by only 5 percent. The annual costs of traffic congestion keep rising, resulting in 3.7 billion hours of driver delays and 8.7 billion liters of wasted fuel. Can you imagine a smart road that is able to warn you of an alternative route to avoid traffic congestion a few kilometers away?

Road traffic fatalities are one of the most important causes of death globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 150,000 people will be killed on the roads by 2020, since cars will be more present in developing countries, increasing the number of vehicles on the world´s roads up to 2 billion.

Weather conditions affect road safety - therefore, the use of sensors and smart applications could reduce the number of road accidents. Smart Roads could take advantage of solar energy for power, clearing city streets of ice and snow by simply melting it away. Furthermore, temperature-responsive dynamic paint could be used to make ice crystals visible to drivers when cold weather makes road surfaces slippery.

Smart Lighting could also be applied to Smart Roads by fitting the roads with power-saving lights that gradually brighten as vehicles approach then switch themselves off after they pass. In fact, a photo-luminescent paint for road markings is about to be used in the Netherlands. This paint would charge during the day to illuminate the tarmac for up to 10 hours overnight.

Fig. 1.- a) Temperature-responsive dynamic paint b) Smart Lighting in roads c) Photo-luminescent paint

Libelium – Smart Cities and Smart Roads

Current and future Smart Roads applications can be carried out with Libelium´s horizontal solution. Waspmote wireless sensors have a number of characteristics that make them ideal for infrastructure usage, such as wireless communication capacities, autonomous power, security and small size. Waspmote devices have an internal lithium battery that allows them to run for months and even years, as part of an efficient energy management infrastructure system.

Fig. 2.- Waspmote Plug&Sense!(tm)

From monitoring a bridge to a tunnel, Waspmote already integrates an accelerometer and accommodates up to 8 different sensor boards, to cover all the previous described Smart Roads applications.

A new line of encapsulated devices Waspmote Plug&Sense! comes equipped with six connectors to which sensor probes can be attached directly, allowing services to be scalable, sustainable and easy to deploy. The Waspmote Plug & Sense! Platform may be solar powered to allow energy harvesting and years of autonomy. Once installed, the sensor nodes can be programmed wirelessly thanks to an over-the-air programming (OTAP) feature. Sensors can be replaced or added without having to uninstall the mote itself, keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

2. Smart Cars: a practical implementation of M2M communications is becoming a reality ever closer

Libelium World :

Smart Cars: a practical implementation of M2M communications is becoming a reality ever closer

Machine to machine (M2M) communications, and especially Smart Cars, could help to improve accident prevention. McGill University has developed a pilot to handle remote control cars with Waspmote in order to decrease the number of car accidents caused by human error.

Road traffic fatalities are one of the most important causes of death globally. More than 150,000 people will be killed by 2020 according to the World Health Organization, since cars will be more present in developing countries, increasing the number of vehicles on the world´s roads up to 2 billion. A lot of technological innovations have improved road safety. Yet around 90% of accidents are caused by human error. Figure 1 shows percentage of road traffic accidents depending on the income group.

Fig. 1.- Population, road traffic deaths, and registered vehicles, by income group

Smart Cars, or even driverless cars, would provide further benefits beyond safety. They could drop someone off and then park themselves. Moreover, they would reduce the stress of driving, allowing their occupants to read or even work. Some studies carried out by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reveal that by 2040, driverless cars will account for up to 75 per cent of cars on the road worldwide.

Fig. 2.- Smart Car developed by Google

Smart Cars are supposed to be totally developed in a few years. Yet many people do not trust in the technology enough to completely hand over total control. Thanks to small projects like the following, Libelium hopes people start changing their mind.

Research Project

The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering of McGill University published a paper about a project developed last year. On the one hand, their short term goal was to create a prototype for a sensor car equipped with ultrasonic sensor and ZigBee that can be controlled remotely by user. On the other hand, their long term goal was to implement a mesh network with multiple cars to test Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication.

Fig. 3.- Poster published by McGill University

They created a board to handle the remote control car using Waspmote through a ZigBee network. The ZigBee coordinator was connected to a computer in order to send commands directly to the car. Moreover, the car could work on two modes:

Accelerometer mode: remote control car uses the Waspmote´s accelerometer to know how it is moving. These data are sent to other Waspmote attached to a remote control, which answers back with the appropriate instruction. Thanks to the ultrasonic sensor and the instructions returned by the other Waspmote, the remote control car is able to follow a correct route.

On screen mode: a map of the room where the car is placed is uploaded to a computer application. This program creates the route for the remote control car and sends the instructions to the Waspmote on the car. Thanks to these instructions and ultrasonic sensor, the remote control car is able follow the route created on the computer.

M2M projects, and especially V2V ones, have a wide range of applications. Waspmote platform also allows to cover a wide range of different scenarios and applications thanks to its horizontality, resulting in a perfect solution to be used in M2M projects.

Waspmote for M2M communications

Machine to machine (M2M) refers to technologies that allow to communicate with other devices of the same ability. M2M uses a device to get data from its environment and sends this data to other device that transforms the received message into meaningful information. There are four basic stages that are common to almost every M2M application:

Getting the data from the environment
Transmission of selected data through a network
Treatment of data
Response to received information

Waspmote is Libelium´s device for Wireless Sensor Networks, and as you have seen in the previous part, it can be used for M2M applications. Apart from remotely control a car it can be used for a wide range of applications.

Fig. 4.- Waspmote device

More than 50 sensors are already integrated into our WSN platform. Regarding Smart Cars, an ultrasound sensor could be used to detect the proximity of a car to an object or even to other car. Furthermore, environmental sensors could collect data from car´s environment in order to create real-time pollution maps within a city.

Fig. 5.- a) Events Sensor Board b) Prototyping Sensor Board c) Smart Cities Sensor Board d) Gas Sensor Board

Moreover, integration of new sensors is very easy thanks to Waspmote´s modularity and horizontality. We indeed offer a customer service to help you with this kind of integrations.

For any doubt about how to approach this solution do not hesitate to contact us.

Smart Agriculture

1. Wine Quality Enhancing : Monitoring soil moisture and trunk diameter in vineyards to control the amount of sugar in grapes and grapevine health.
2. Green Houses : Control micro-climate conditions to maximize the production of fruits and vegetables and its quality.
3. Golf Courses : Selective irrigation in dry zones to reduce the water resources required in the green.
4. Meteorological Station Network : Study of weather conditions in fields to forecast ice formation, rain, drought, snow or wind changes.
5. Compost : Control of humidity and temperature levels in alfalfa, hay, straw, etc. to prevent fungus and other microbial contaminants.

See Related Articles

1. Smart Agriculture project in Galicia to monitor vineyards with Waspmote

Libelium World :

Smart Agriculture project in Galicia to monitor vineyards with Waspmote

Agriculture began 10.000 years ago in the areas of present day Turkey and the Middle East. It changed very little from early times until about 1700, when an agricultural revolution took place, increasing the production of crops. In the 1850`s, the industrial revolution spilled over to the farm with new mechanized methods. Agriculture is facing today to two major problems: soil compaction and water scarcity.

Farming has a big influence on Europe's landscapes and the quality of its environment. Soil compaction is one of he worst problems that is affecting Europe's mainland. The use of heavy machinery in agriculture can induce ‘soil compaction', which reduces its capacity to store and conduct water, makes it less permeable for plant roots and increases the risk of soil loss by water erosion. Some authors estimate 36 % of European subsoils as having high or very high susceptibility to compaction.

Water scarcity is becoming one of the biggest problems humankind is facing to. Hit by the worst drought in 60 year this year, the Horn of Africa is suffering from famine and hunger. Figures compiled by the Department for International Development (DfID) suggest that between 50,000 and 100,000 people, more than half of them children under five, died in the 2011 Horn of Africa crisis that affected Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Across the European Union, agriculture uses about a quarter of water diverted from the natural environment, though this can be up to 80% in southern Europe. Some estimates calculate that approximately a quarter of water abstracted for irrigation in Europe could be saved, just by changing the type of pipe or channel used.

Fig. 1.- European water use by sector

Over the past five decades, the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - accounting for around half of the EU budget - has encouraged the sector to become rapidly modernized. This modernization includes methods for improving irrigation systems, minimizing emission of pollutants and impact in the environment.

Fig. 2.- European budget for 2013

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) can be used to monitor different environmental parameters related to agriculture such as temperature, humidity, soil temperature/humidity, weather station, leaf wetness and many other parameters. The monitoring of these parameters allows to minimize time and money as well as maximize agriculture results.

Siega System

Siega System has been developed by Grupo Austen, a Spanish company specialized in naval installations and now in wireless sensor networks. This system has been firstly deployed in a vineyard in Pontevedra, a city in the North of Spain. Siega System is able to monitor environmental parameters such as ambient temperature and humidity and other parameters related to agriculture such as precipitation, wind or leaf wetness.

Fig. 3.- Project location

Researchers from Grupo Austen have created several statistical models to predict the appearance of plagues within the vineyard. At this point, 3 different plagues can be predicted: mildium, oidium and botritis though statistical model is expandable to integrate more plagues in the future.

On the one hand, the system allows to monitor vineyard conditions in real-time, being able to predict the appearance of a plague in the next hours/days. This feature allows vineyard technicians to take the measures to minimize the impact of the plague in the vineyard, minimizing time and money lost due to this plague.

On the other hand, the system also allows to monitor and control the grape from its beginning to the end user, also called as traceability of the grape. In this way, grape can be monitored in real-time from its plantation to wine manufacturing in the wine cellar. RFID technology allows to accomplish this goal, improving viticulture to a level not known ever before.

The solution

This project can be better explained with the following diagram:

Fig. 4.- Solution diagram

Siega System nodes use Waspmotes and are able to measure different parameters:

Ambient temperature/humidity
Atmospheric pressure
Pluviometer
Anemometer
Ultraviolet radiation
Solar radiation
Soil temperature
Soil moisture
Leaf wetness

These sensors are connected to Waspmote through the Agriculture Sensor Board, which contains the electronics needed to implement an easy hardware integration of these sensors. Thanks to these great variety of measured parameters, statistical prediction

5.- a) Waspmote Agriculture Sensor Board b) Waspmote Proto Sensor Board c) Waspmote RFID module

Siega System also uses the Proto Sensor Board to control irrigation systems in the vineyard and air conditioning in the wine cellar, turning them on/off depending on real-time weather conditions. Waspmote RFID module is used for the traceability of the grape, adding a new feature to this great Smart Agriculture system.

The main characteristics of these nodes are:

Some of these nodes get data from the environmental sensors to be able to create the statistical prediction models.

Other nodes control the irrigation system and air conditioning system in the wine cellar.

Traceability of the grape is controlled by other nodes using RFID technology.

Powered by a lithium battery that is recharged by a solar panel, making the nodes autonomous.

Meshlium, Libelium's multi-protocol router, is used to gather all the data from the sensor nodes and leaving them in the Cloud. In order to know where this sensor is located, each Waspmote can integrate a GPS, that delivers accurate position and time information. One of the main characteristics of Waspmote is its low power consumption:

9 mA, ON mode
62 μA, sleep mode
0,7 μA, hibernate mode

Waspmote is sleeping most of the time, in order to save battery. After some minutes (programmable by the user), Waspmote wakes up, reads from the sensors, implements the wireless communication and goes again to sleep mode. Each device can be powered with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, making the system very autonomous.

Deployment process

The deployment of Siega System has taken place in a vineyard in Pontevedra, a city in the North of Spain. 10 Waspmotes and 1 Meshlium have been deployed in collaboration with a local wine cellar in order to test the system and improve its results.

Alex Casteleiro, one of the leaders of Siega System, says "The idea of Siega System is to take the Internet of Things to rural areas, helping to decrease costs and minimizing the impact of phytosanitaries, ensuring a better quality end product".

The deployment process can be divided in different tasks:

Development of measuring module, communication module and statistical prediction model.

Development of irrigation system interface and air conditioning system interface.

Development of traceability of the grape based on a RFID system.

Development of user interface (pc and smartphone)

First of all, measuring nodes were installed in the vineyard to get data from the environment, being able to create the statistical prediction model.

Fig. 6.- Siega System Sensor nodes

Secondly, Meshlium was installed to gather all the data coming from the sensor nodes and sending these data to the Cloud.

Fig. 7.- Meshlium gathering data in Siega System

Once the base system was deployed, both pc and smartphone applications were developed to help the user to manage irrigation system, air conditioning machines and to prevent possible plagues.

Fig. 8.- Siega PC Application

Sensor nodes are located using Google Maps and the user can access to real-time data from each sensor node, and even get a visual representation of the different parameters measured by that node. Smartphone application allows to control the system from anywhere connected to the Internet.

Fig. 9.- Siega Smartphone application

All these nodes are autonomous, taking advantage of Waspmote's saving energy features. Sensor nodes get sensor data every 15 minutes or every 5 minutes, depending on the sensors connected to the node.

Alex Casteleiro adds "Siega System uses Libelium's platform because it is modular, allowing to configure it and solve different kind of problems. Besides, API provided by Libelium fits all our requirements: high quality and open-source".

If you are interested in Waspmote, we will be glad to help you to design your system. You can request for a quotation of Waspmote here.

2. New Waspmote Sensor Board enables extreme precision agriculture in vineyards and greenhouses

Libelium World :

New Waspmote Sensor Board enables extreme precision agriculture in vineyards and greenhouses

The new Waspmote Agriculture Sensor Board enables up to 14 environmental parameters to be monitored in a wireless sensor network. This sophisticated monitoring brings extreme precision to crop growing in vineyards and greenhouses by enabling irrigation and climate control to be matched to local conditions.

This new Sensor Board for the Waspmote platform extends the award-winning Waspmote platform by supporting the measurement of the following key parameters:

air temperature
air humidity
soil temperature
soil moisture
leaf wetness
atmospheric pressure
solar radiation
trunk/stem/fruit diameter
wind speed/direction
rainfall

The board allows more than ten sensors to be connected at one time. Libelium’s CTO, David Gascón says “A Waspmote sensor network using the new board can measure irrigation effectiveness, crop growth and micro-climatic conditions as well as detect adverse weather events”.

Local variations in soil, drainage and evaporation can mean that irrigation is not uniformly effective. For example it is possible that, within a vineyard, some vine roots are too dry while others are waterlogged. If three soil moisture sensors are simultaneously placed at different depths the local water retention in the soil can be assessed. By measuring evapotranspiration it is possible to work out how much irrigation water is being actually absorbed by the plants. Using sensor data to automatically adjust irrigation to match local conditions conserves water and is equally applicable to vineyards, greenhouses and golf courses. Avoiding over-watering also helps prevent certain crop diseases including rot, fungi and bacteria which thrive in wet conditions.

Precision agriculture aims to optimise production by taking account of local soil and climatic variations. David Gascón says, “This new board enables vineyards to be controlled with a finer granularity than existing precision agriculture techniques”.

He explains, “Accurate dendrometers, capable of measuring changes in diameter of a few micrometres, allow the measurement of water intake of individual vines from irrigation. Using a PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) sensor checks the conditions for photosynthesis”.

The Agriculture Sensor Board is also highly applicable to greenhouses where the creation and control of microclimates is important to the growth of delicate crops such as exotic fruit. For mushroom farming, Waspmote’s Agriculture Sensor and Gas Sensor boards can be used together to measure and control soil moisture and temperature, CO2 level and air temperature.

The board also supports meteorological sensors such as air thermometer, hygrometer, anemometer, wind vane and rain gauges (pluviometer). If the temperature falls below a threshold, heating can be automatically started by the wireless sensor network. Meteorological sensors can trigger warnings in the event of adverse weather such as high wind or torrential rain.

Waspmote does not need to monitor values continuously and can spend long periods in a power saving mode. However if wind exceeds a threshold the anemometer will send a signal to wake up the Waspmote board. In hibernate mode the board consumes just 0.7 microamperes current resulting in outstanding battery performance. Should continuous measurement be required, a socket enables the board to be powered by a solar panel also available from Libelium.

Agriculture sensor networks using Waspmote send data using ZigBee (using 2.4GHz, 868MHz, 900MHz frequencies). The radio range depends on undergrowth but can be up to 12 km for line of sight links or up to 6 km for non line of sight. Alarms can also be sent to the mobile phone network using Waspmote’s GSM/GPRS board.

Waspmote users – such as agriculture consultancies – can add value layers to the 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.

Agriculture Sensor Board:

Documentation
General Info
Waspmote

eHealth

Applications

1. Fall Detection : Assistance for elderly or disabled people living independent.
2. Medical Fridges : Control of conditions inside freezers storing vaccines, medicines and organic elements.
3. Sportsmen Care : Vital signs monitoring in high performance centres and fields.
4. Patients Surveillance : Monitoring of conditions of patients inside hospitals and in old people's home.
5. Ultraviolet Radiation : Measurement of UV sun rays to warn people not to be exposed in certain hours.

See Related Articles

1. E-Health: Low Cost Sensors for Early Detection of Childhood Disease

Libelium World: project_hope_logo

E-Health: Low Cost Sensors for Early Detection of Childhood Disease

inspire_banner

Pneumonia is the number 1 killer of children worldwide with 2 million deaths each year. With a child dying every 20 seconds, pneumonia is a significant contributor to neonatal mortality in developing countries – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

The illness is treatable and preventable, but accurate early detection is key.

To reduce child mortality due to Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI), the Smart Object Sensing Array invented by Guardit and licensed by Inspire Living Inc., contracted with the global NGO Project HOPE to create a device to aid in the efficient detection of tachypnea, an indication of pneumonia in children, based on Libelium’s e-Health Sensor Platform.

Inspire Living developed an Infant Respiratory Rate Sensor device (Inspire™) from pioneering work in smart object sensing and object pattern recognition. Designed for use by community health workers who must accurately determine respiratory rates in children as part of diagnosing pneumonia, INSPIRE is an automated electronic device that satisfies UNICEF’s specifications for global products.

child_mortality

An Affordable Prototyping Platform for e-Health

Creating new healthcare applications or medical devices requires access to prototyping platforms that were once very costly to obtain, limiting development to research labs or well-funded corporations. “One of the challenges to e-Health innovation has been the lack of affordable sensors. You had to make a huge investment even before knowing if your project was viable. That is why we developed the e-Health Sensor Platform”, said Alicia Asín, CEO and co-founder of Libelium. “When you see all that can be achieved with an inexpensive prototyping platform like ours, it makes it worthwhile for makers to change things.”

Inspire Living built the INSPIRE prototypes using Libelium’s e-Health Sensor hardware platform. “Libelium knocked it out of the ball park with their e-Health Sensor Platform Kit. With this, we had available the core of what we needed so we could add our value and focus on our solution. Libelium developed the foundation in software for us to build on; they had the hardware compatibility and conformity so that others could understand and reference our solution, and accept our design decisions more easily”, said Michael Script, co-founder of Inspire Living. “I would sum up the impact of working with using the products, services, support and forums from Libelium as game-changing.” e-Health_sensors

e-health_sensors_small

Figure 1: The e-Health Sensor Platform with its array of sensors, electronics and software APIs e-Health_Sensor_Board

Figure 2: e-Health Sensor Board top view

After years of development and hundreds of iterations, Inspire Living, an innovations company specialized in smart object sensing with portable notification, was close to launching a new sensor system for counting breath rate for use in developing countries. They had patented a sensor and sourced a special material that could adhere to a child’s skin to keep the device in place. They had created easy-to-read icons to start the device and display the number of breaths counted; they had devised a way to manually charge the device for autonomy, for use in places where batteries and sunlight were scarce. At last ready to show the device to the world, they set out to demonstrate it to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, USAID, Project HOPE, and the Gates Foundation.

As the company prepared to meet the non-governmental organizations (NGO), Inspire Living’s co-founder, the inventor Michael Script, received a call from a friend who had a mobile application that could count breath rate. Script had to try it. He tested breath rate with the smartphone app, compared it to readings from his own sensor, and in the process discovered a new parameter to take into account – one that had been overlooked previously. Script dropped everything to spend the next two weeks writing another patent application for a completely new device, with an important difference. Those impromptu tests had convinced him that an entirely new approach to the problem was required to ensure accuracy in all situations.

Accuracy in breath rate testing

In developing countries, aid workers and medical professionals use counting beads and stopwatches to test breath rate: this can lead to misdiagnosis by either under-counting or over-counting. A moving child, difficulties in remembering the count, or distractions during the count are all factors cited by UNICEF as major impediments to accurate respiratory rate counts.

beads

Figure 3: Counting breaths with beads and stopwatches is common in the developing world

Script understood the complicating factors in play. “The problem with obtaining accurate readings while monitoring breath rate is that the body settles, and while settling from one position to another breath rate is affected. The mere act of speaking can lower your breath rate to 7 ppm. If the body is settling, you never know when it’s finally stabilized to take a breath count. You need to have a digital system modified with an algorithm to compensate for this breathing anomaly”, said Michael Script, inventor and co-founder of Inspire Living. e-Health_Sensor_Kit

e-health_kit_small

Figure 4: e-Health Sensor Kit: a medical monitoring platform combines 10 different sensor operations

Script, an inventor with a long career, found that Libelium had developed an e-Health sensor board integrating a number of different health tests performed on one device, available through Libelium’s DIY hardware division, on the Cooking Hacks website. The e-Health sensor platform includes a spirometer, a pulse oximeter, sensors to measure blood pressure, temperature, body position, and it can monitor a number of biometric parameters.

e-health_arduino_raspberry_pi_small

e-Health_possition_sensor Figure 5: Patient Position Sensor - Accelerometer

e-health_arduino_raspberry_pi_small

Figure 6: e-Health Sensor Shield over Arduino (left) and over Raspberry Pi (right)

After receiving the e-Health Sensor Platform from Libelium, Script assembled a new system and began testing. Within days it became clear that input from more than one sensor would be needed. Script and his team started linking the other sensors’ inputs together, linking body position and heart rate to breath rate. Next, they added galvanic skin response to body position and temperature to breath rate. And, after developing various algorithms, the Inspire team found what they were looking for. They could accurately count breath rate.

Initial Requirements: from Prototype to Clinical Trials

The Inspire team integrated their sensor with the Libelium e-Health Sensor Platform to develop a more sophisticated diagnostic system for clinics and health professionals in developing countries. They brought the new device to a meeting in New York City of the largest NGOs. “As you would expect, most were mollified by our presentation. It was not to be believed”, said Script. After several clinical trials, visits to pediatricians and pulmonologists, more clinical research and a lot of focus “we are ready to assist health professionals deliver the breath of life”, he said.

inspire_device_prototype

>Figure 7: The INSPIRE device measures breath rate to diagnose pneumonia in infants: an early prototype

Inspire Living’s initial requirements were to build a better diagnostic for children with pneumonia in developing countries for use by healthcare aides with no education or limited medical training.

inspire_device_demonstration

Figure 8: Demonstrating ease of use of INSPIRE in respiratory screening tests

The INSPIRE device replaces the outdated methods used by health workers up to now. Currently, measuring breath rates involves nurses and doctors counting using a minute timer or even using beads, methods that are susceptible to errors and could cost a child the chance to receive medicine in time.

inspire_device

Figure 9: Breath rate testing can be done on any child in any position, whether sitting or lying down

The INSPIRE device measures patterns of breath recognition with an algorithm that analyses the data and displays the information to be easily read by non-skilled field personnel. The device tests breath rate in 15-second intervals and can conduct multiple tests within a one-minute time frame, permitting healthcare workers time to observe other signs of patient distress.

A healthcare worker places the INSPIRE device on the child at the sternum, against the skin, and presses the start button; at the end of the test it will beep and display a count. The test may be repeated for assurance. Once the respiratory rate is displayed, diagnostic indications for age and breath rate are provided on the device. The device records the respiratory rate for a given minute. To avoid errors, a chip in the device stores the data, which can be transferred to an external device. device_evolution

device_evolution_small Figure 10: Device evolution: from early prototype to current version

With INSPIRE, the company has addressed many of the evolutions of the product during prototyping, and has now contracted with Project HOPE and other NGOs to take the units into the field and bring back the data they need to take the product to better developments. Clinical trials are ongoing. Results of the field trials will be available from June 2014.

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