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Remote Monitor & Control systems are increasingly being used in biomedical, chem-ical, engineering, security, transportation, manufacturing, supply chain, healthcare, etc. In this research, attempt is to develop a solution of wireless monitoring and control for such industrial scenarios. The solution is built on two components – a generic reconfigurable wireless interface for remote data collection-actuation units and control architecture at the central control unit (CCU) for smart data processing. The data collection/actuation unit (sensors-actuators-controllers) is made intelligent by virtue of a smart-wireless interface, which is reconfigurable using the Over-the-Air (OTA) paradigm. The RF link as well as the interface-firmware is reconfigurable to accommodate a variety of RF modules (Bluetooth, 802.11 or RFID) and sensors/actuators/controllers. The control architecture supports services such as naming, localization etc., and is based on JavaBeans, which allows a component level description of the system to be maintained, providing flexibility for implementing complex systems.

In the current system, the wireless interface is implemented using a microprocessor-based system and reconfiguration is restricted to a certain functional level (firmware modification). Future work entails extension of the system to provide a full fledged reconfiguration support by using a complete Software-defined radio (SDR)/processor based implementation. The new platform will help port extensive services like reliability, security, interference management, required for remote monitor and control systems.

Wireless Interfaces supported currently:

  1. Bluetooth
  2. Wi-Fi
  3. Mica2 Mote
  4. RFID - ISO15693(HF)

Some snapshots of the current implementation are shown below:

ReWINS and RFID Integration

We consider the machine (any equipment or appliance) health monitoring application. The motive is to record the health information of the machine, i.e. any violations, spurious events etc., during its operation and make it available locally. A mechanic can then, during his periodic checks, query this information using some handheld device and perform the necessary repairs.

The system was implemented using the smart sensor board (ReWINS board). The smart sensor board gauges events and stores the information in a IS015693 HF RFID tag. The data is queried using a handheld reader attached to a PDA (iPAQ). A sample user interface was built at the PDA to display the data read from the tag.

Some snapshots of the RFID implementation are shown below:


Multi-Sensor Interface – Different sensors, employing different protocols for data exchange, can be interfaced using the same smart sensor board.

Multi-RF Interface – Different application scenario requirements like bandwidth, jitter, range etc. can
be met by choosing the appropriate wireless interface.

Over-the-Air Reconfigurability - The run-time parameters of the device and smart upgrade the firmware of the system can be done over the air (OTA).

Fault Tolerance – Multi-hop networking support helps achieve fault tolerant communication

Security – Use of RF interfaces like Bluetooth, WiFi etc., which have in-built support for secure communication channels, helps support secure delivery of data

Plug-n-play Design - The smart sensor board can be tailored to suit application needs and configurations

Calibration - Sensors can be calibrated accurately without significant user intervention.


Industrial Automation Applications
a. Health Monitoring Systems: Periodic equipment assessment applications using RFID.
b. Instrumentation Systems

M2M Applications – Remote Data Monitoring for Utility Industries
a. Energy Distribution Systems, such as remote meter reading
b. Health Maintenance Systems, such as pipeline monitoring

Other application areas include biomedical, chemical, plants, security, transportation, manufacturing, supply chain and healthcare.

UCLA-WINMEC RFID Forum, October 12, 2004 http://winmec.ucla.edu/rfid/2004/

UCLA RFID Middleware Research, http://www.winmec.ucla.edu/rfid/research.asp