Merrett, Geoff V, Weddell, Alexander S, Harris, Nick R, Al-Hashimi, Bashir M and White, Neil M
A Structured Hardware/Software Architecture for Embedded Sensor Nodes.
In, 17th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks, St Thomas, Virgin Islands (), USA,
03 - 07 Aug 2008.
Owing to the limited requirement for sensor processing in early networked sensor nodes, embedded software was generally built around the communication stack. Modern sensor nodes have evolved to contain significant on-board functionality in addition to communications, including sensor processing, energy management, actuation and locationing. The embedded software for this functionality, however, is often implemented in the application layer of the communications stack, resulting in an unstructured, top-heavy and complex stack. In this paper, we propose an embedded system architecture to formally specify multiple interfaces on a sensor node. This architecture differs from existing solutions by providing a sensor node with multiple stacks (each stack implements a separate node function), all linked by a shared application layer. This establishes a structured platform for the formal design, specification and implementation of modern sensor and wireless sensor nodes. We describe a practical prototype of an intelligent sensing, energy-aware, sensor node that has been developed using this architecture, implementing stacks for communications, sensing and energy management. The structure and operation of the intelligent sensing and energy management stacks are described in detail. The proposed architecture promotes structured and modular design, allowing for efficient code reuse and being suitable for future generations of sensor nodes featuring interchangeable components.
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