Libelium, a technology leader in distributed wireless networks, announces the launch of the Waspmote modular platform for wireless sensor networks. With radio modules offering a range of up to 40 km and with ultra low power performance, Waspmote sets new standards for autonomous wireless sensor devices. The combination of long range and low power enables the deployment of fire detection, flood detection and environmental monitoring networks in very remote locations and with adverse conditions.
The modular platform allows users to choose from a range of wireless and sensor modules to create their specific sensor network application. One of the 802.15.4/ZigBee modules can achieve a range of up to 40 km. Libelium’s CTO, David Gascón says “the 868MHz module achieves its outstanding range through a transmission power of 315mW and -112dBm radio sensitivity”. He added, “Waspmote’s range enables a new generation of wireless sensor networks to be deployed well away from towns and villages. This unprecedented range is particularly important for detecting forest fires and river floods”. Waspmote networks can also communicate to the external world by means of GPRS. For situations with very difficult wireless connectivity – such as mines –each sensor device can store more than 21 million different sensor measurements in its internal memory.
Wireless sensor devices depend on batteries so power management is essential for effective network operation. Waspmote offers four power modes – on, sleep, deep sleep and hibernation. In the hibernate mode, it consumes a tiny 0.7 microamperes resulting in outstanding battery performance. David Gascón says “the Waspmote device can keep running for up to 3 years without recharging the battery; although if a small solar panel is added – using its special connector – it can run continuously.”
Waspmote devices can be accurately located by using the GPS module. This is useful for both static applications such as fire detection and mobile applications such as logistics. The main board contains an in-built accelerometer and when combined with the GPS module the device can be used to measure speed, direction and location of vehicles or containers.
For environmental monitoring, a gas sensor board is available for detecting a wide range of emissions including: carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from forest fires; methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide from farms and hatcheries; nitrogen dioxide from traffic emissions; as well as hydrogen, isobutene and toluene from chemical and industrial processes.
For security, emergency detection and logistics, a physical event sensor board is available to detect events such as: pressure and weight; impact and vibration;presence of liquids; as well as temperature.
Users can extend the Waspmote platform by using the open source API and programming environment. This enables the platform to be easily integrated with third party applications. It can also be extended by addition of different types of sensor.
About Wireless Sensor Networks
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) consist of small battery powered electronic devices – often known as “motes” – which gather data from built-in sensors. A WSN is self-organising allowing it to have high availability, scalability and simple installation. Applications include environmental monitoring, fire or gas detection, smart metering, farming, logistics and security.
Waspmote is a modular platform for building wireless sensor networks. The platform comprises: the Waspmote board with microcontroller, memory, battery, accelerometer and sockets for add-on modules; open source API and compiler; Xbee range of ZigBee wireless communication modules offer a choice of protocol versions, radio frequency and range (up to 40 km); wireless modules supporting GPRS, GPS; a gas sensor board supports the detection of gases arising from industrial pollution, fires, farms and chemical and industrial processes; a physical event detector board support security, flood detection and vibration and impact monitoring; and outstanding power management – an unprecedented 0.7 microamperes is required in hibernate mode. Waspmote is CE, FCC and IC certified.
Libelium designs and manufactures hardware and communication protocols for distributed wireless networks. The product portfolio consists of the Waspmote low power platform for creating wireless sensor networks; the Meshlium multi-tech router integrating WiFi mesh (2.4GHz – 5GHz), ZigBee, GPRS, GPS and Bluetooth technologies; and N-vio platform for proximity marketing and messaging via Bluetooth. The company was founded in 2006, is privately held and is based at the European Business and Innovation Centre CEEIARAGON, Zaragoza, Spain.