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Standards-based Internet of Things sub-GHz environmental sensor networks

Standards-based Internet of Things sub-GHz environmental sensor networks
Standards-based Internet of Things sub-GHz environmental sensor networks
In recent years there has been shift in the use of wireless sensor networks from standalone systems that use bespoke methods of communication and data transfer to systems that use Internet standards and can interact more directly with the Internet. This has allowed wireless sensor networks to become a key enabler of the Internet of Things; however, the same is not true for environmental sensor networks as the focus of most existing research into Internet of Things wireless sensor networks has been on 2.4 GHz designs for indoor, urban and agricultural applications. In these applications, power, Internet connectivity and physical access are less of a challenge when compared to a typical environmental sensor network. Environmental sensor networks are used for monitoring natural processes and are generally deployed in harsh, remote environments where these factors are more of a concern. Sub-GHz radios are commonly used for communication due to their increased range and desirable propagation characteristics. Unlike wireless sensor networks, environmental sensor networks have been slow to adopt Internet standards and have continued to rely on bespoke methods of communication and data transfer, keeping their usability low. This has impeded the adoption of environmental sensor networks for earth sciences research.

This thesis investigates whether the Internet standards that have helped to make wireless sensor network an important part of the Internet of Things can be applied to sub-GHz environmental sensor networks. It is demonstrated that 6LoWPAN can successfully be used with an 868 MHz network in a series of real-world deployments in the Highlands of Scotland that collected usable earth science data and facilitated research in other fields. Additionally, the suitability of these standards for real-world networks is assessed in terms of energy, throughput and latency performance and compared to a theoretical 2.4 GHz network. An publicly available open source Contiki radio driver for the CC1120 was developed as part of this work. Additionally, timing parameters for using ContikiMAC with 868 MHz radios were determines and shared with researchers at other institutions, facilitating further research into sub-GHz IoT ESNs by other researchers.
IoT, WSN, ESN, Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor Networks, Environmental sensor network, Contiki, IPv6, 6LoWPAN
University of Southampton
Bragg, Graeme McLachlan
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Bragg, Graeme McLachlan
b5fd19b9-1a51-470b-a226-2d4dd5ff447a
Martinez, Kirk
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Al-Hashimi, Bashir
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Bragg, Graeme McLachlan (2017) Standards-based Internet of Things sub-GHz environmental sensor networks. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 194pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In recent years there has been shift in the use of wireless sensor networks from standalone systems that use bespoke methods of communication and data transfer to systems that use Internet standards and can interact more directly with the Internet. This has allowed wireless sensor networks to become a key enabler of the Internet of Things; however, the same is not true for environmental sensor networks as the focus of most existing research into Internet of Things wireless sensor networks has been on 2.4 GHz designs for indoor, urban and agricultural applications. In these applications, power, Internet connectivity and physical access are less of a challenge when compared to a typical environmental sensor network. Environmental sensor networks are used for monitoring natural processes and are generally deployed in harsh, remote environments where these factors are more of a concern. Sub-GHz radios are commonly used for communication due to their increased range and desirable propagation characteristics. Unlike wireless sensor networks, environmental sensor networks have been slow to adopt Internet standards and have continued to rely on bespoke methods of communication and data transfer, keeping their usability low. This has impeded the adoption of environmental sensor networks for earth sciences research.

This thesis investigates whether the Internet standards that have helped to make wireless sensor network an important part of the Internet of Things can be applied to sub-GHz environmental sensor networks. It is demonstrated that 6LoWPAN can successfully be used with an 868 MHz network in a series of real-world deployments in the Highlands of Scotland that collected usable earth science data and facilitated research in other fields. Additionally, the suitability of these standards for real-world networks is assessed in terms of energy, throughput and latency performance and compared to a theoretical 2.4 GHz network. An publicly available open source Contiki radio driver for the CC1120 was developed as part of this work. Additionally, timing parameters for using ContikiMAC with 868 MHz radios were determines and shared with researchers at other institutions, facilitating further research into sub-GHz IoT ESNs by other researchers.

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More information

Published date: November 2017
Additional Information: Related publications: Bragg, G., Martinez, K., Basford, P., & Hart, J. (2016). 868MHz 6LoWPAN with ContikiMAC for an internet of things environmental sensor network. Paper presented at SAI Computing Conference 2016, United Kingdom. Bragg, O. M., Basford, P., Black, A. R., Bragg, G., Hart, J., & Martinez, K. (2016). Britain’s highest bog: can we unlock its secrets?. Paper presented at 15th International Peat Congress 2016, Malaysia. Martinez, K., Hart, J. K., Basford, P. J., Bragg, G., Ward, T., & Young, D. S. (2017). A geophone wireless sensor network for investigating glacier stick-slip motion. Computers & Geosciences, 105, 103-112. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2017.05.005 Fabre, A., Martinez, K., Bragg, G., Basford, P., Hart, J., Bader, S., & Bragg, O. (2016). Deploying a 6LoWPAN, CoAP, low power, wireless sensor network. Poster session presented at ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, United States.DOI: 10.1145/2994551.2996707
Keywords: IoT, WSN, ESN, Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor Networks, Environmental sensor network, Contiki, IPv6, 6LoWPAN

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415864
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415864
PURE UUID: 7da16ad9-b940-4c8a-810c-e2d2eaddecc1
ORCID for Graeme McLachlan Bragg: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5201-7977
ORCID for Kirk Martinez: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3859-5700

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:51

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