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Volume 12 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-012-03-0328


A Modular Architecture for Nodes in Wireless Sensor Networks

Jorge Portilla (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)

Angel de Castro (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

Eduardo de la Torre (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)

Teresa Riesgo (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)

Abstract: The growth of sensor networks during the last years is a fact and within this field, wireless sensor networks are growing particularly as there are many applications that demand the use of many nodes, even hundreds or thousands. More and more applications are emerging to solve several problems in data acquisition and control in different environments, taking advantage of this technology. In this context, hardware design of the sensor network node becomes critical to satisfy the hard constraints imposed by wireless sensor networks, like low power consumption, low size and low cost. Moreover, these nodes must be capable of sensing, processing and communicating physical parameters, becoming true smart sensors in a network. With this goal in mind, we propose a modular architecture for the nodes, composed of four layers: communication, processing, power supply and sensing. The purpose is to minimize the redesign effort as well as to make the node flexible and adaptable to many different applications. In a first prototype of the node, we present a node with a mixed design based on a microcontroller and an FPGA for the processing layer and Bluetooth technology for communications.

Keywords: hardware node design, modular architecture, sensor network node, wireless sensor networks

Categories: B.5.1, B.6.0, B.7.0.