ZigBee sensor systems base on small (about 2 inches long) devices that contain fully featured computer system (32-bit RISC CPU with huge ROM and RAM) with rich input-output system (ADC, DAC, converters, digital I/O) and built-in long range (up to 4km) wireless interface compatible with IEEE802.15.4 standard. These modules are cheap and allow to create large networks of sensors with no effort (only 2-3V power is required).
The module of wireless communication can be implemented as device(s) similar to JN5139 for
controlling up to 20 circuits (such as actuators or valves) for distance up to 4km. Depending on the software uploaded to the module, IEEE802.15.4 compliant protocol stack suitable for point-to-point, star or tree networks may be used. Also a ZigBee mesh network can be applied. The device is about 5cm long (including ceramic antenna) and thin which allows to build it in a larger unit seamlessly.
For reception of the transmitted data, a small control unit attached to USB or RS-232 slot of a PC/Unix/Mac is used. The host computer requires no special spftware except for Java Runtime Environment (free of charge, multi platform) or a Java-capable web browser (e.g. Firefox or MSIE). The data is automatically deposited in remote SQL database. Convenient on-line tools are provided to access, manage and retrieve of the database content from any networked computer. Flexible and secure access control system is also provided.
The data received can be subsequently processed in the Characterization Engine, if compatible.
Wireless Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags can be used for the same purpose the barcodes are used. In addition to simple labeling, RFID may be equipped with chips to measure and log temperature, pH or other parameters. Afterwards, entire log can be read out in a contactless manner. This allows to embed such a sensors into isolated, sealed environment.
Below, short video about use of the RFID tags in Sample DataStore using a mobile device (iPad):