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Wireless sensor network links IP, Web services

Posted: 02 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Arch Rock  Primer Pack  wireless sensor network  802.15.4  TinyOS 

Arch Rock Corp. has developed a wireless sensor network that it says is simple enough to be deployed in an hour as a pilot network in a factory, office building or data centre, yet sophisticated enough to be seamlessly integrated into enterprise applications as a set of standards-compliant Web services.

By integrating Internet Protocol and Web services, Primer Pack—based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard—gives users full access to embedded wireless sensor network (WSN) services through common IT methodologies. Arch Rock has created a link-layer protocol that implements the concept of "passive vigilance," which allows sensor nodes to sleep, using minimum energy, while remaining responsive to wakeup calls from the network when data must be collected or alerts generated.

Individual sensor nodes can be assigned IP addresses, DNS domain names and Webpages, and can be directly managed using such IP tools as Simple Network Management Protocol, ping and traceroute. Standard Internet provisioning and troubleshooting techniques, as well as authentication and other security measures, can be applied to single nodes, groups of nodes or the entire WSN, according to Arch Rock.

"For the first time, users can access and remotely manage the sensor network just as they would any other networked device," said Culler, Arch Rock's chief technology officer. "As a turnkey, customisable WSN system, Primer Pack fully incorporates the physical world of sensors into the digital world of IT."

Primer Pack sensor node software is the first commercial implementation of TinyOS 2.0, the latest version of the embedded OS for sensor networks. The hardware independence designed into TinyOS 2.0 works with MCUs and radio chips from Intel, Texas Instruments, Atmel and Ember Corp.

Arch Rock Primer Pack is priced at Rs.2.31 lakh ($4,995) and comes with six sensor nodes; additional nodes are Rs.12,707.75 ($275). Each node can support up to six external sensors.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times




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