Students: Alec May, Curtis Nelson Jr., Noel Villegas Jr., Alvin Yang, Kevin Yang
Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Radian Belu
There are many situations where data needs to be collected for long periods of time and it would not be cost effective to have an employee collect the data or have to perform routine maintenance on a data collector. This concern has led to the invention of the wireless sensor node (WSN). WSNs have been designed to stay in harsh environments to collect and transmit data back to the user with minimal physical interaction. The WSN consist of many components. There are nodes, gateways, and programmable software that can interact with the system to make it perform certain tasks. The device will have built in sensors that will measure and store data from its surrounding environment at certain time intervals throughout the day.
These sensors can include light, humidity, temperature, pressure, etc. The WSN can send the data collected wirelessly usually by transmitting via RF radio transceiver. Since the WSN is made to collect data from its surrounding environment, the WSN must be built to withstand the weather conditions in the deployment location. That is why the components of the WSN must have specific tolerances and temperature operating ranges. The wireless sensor does require a long operating life, so practical energy harvesting methods, proper energy storage devices, along with a functioning power switching unit will ensure a long life span.
The goal of our senior design project is to construct a WSN that can efficiently harvest its own energy then measure and record the temperature, humidity, light intensity, and pressure of the surrounding environment. It must also be able to withstand cold weather conditions here in Alaska. We built our system very robust by: utilizing solar energy harvesters, a super capacitor and a rechargeable battery to extend the life of our system, and an efficient data collecting scheme that utilizes the least amount of energy.