This article will help you to understand some of the easiest methods to start implementing your sensor nodes with an Arduino platform. Many students and organisation tends to be frustrated with the licensing issues and the cost of buying sensor nodes. I agree that Arduino may not carry original or novel ideas that are needed in your research but it will well go along way to allow your students and organisations to get acquainted with the WSN development and applications at a cheap price.
1. WSN Open source development by Cooking Hacks.
They created Waspmote which is an open source wireless sensor platform specifically focused on the implementation of low consumption modes to allow the sensor nodes to be completely autonomous and battery powered; it offers a variable lifetime between 1 and 5 years depending on the duty cycle and the radio used.
The original idea was to create a wireless sensor networks with Arduino + XBee. There was a limitation in the battery consumption which takes the 5V-3.3V regulator and the system cannot be turned off and thus it is not possible to implement a sleep mode. As a result, a constant consumption of 50mA discharges any battery load within a few days or even hours. On the other hand the platform needed to be radio certified as the nodes are meant to be deployed in real scenarios like cities, factories, houses, etc. For this reason they needed a platform ready for the three main certification requirements: CE (Europe), FCC (US) and IC (Canada).
The development including the hardware and software can be found HERE
Also, a 50 sensor application for a smart world Here
2. XBee/Arduino based Wireless Sensor Network by Peter Haban.
He developed an energy efficient wireless sensor network (WSN) using Arduino Uno/Mega 2560, 1.0, and XBee Series 2. The combination collects a number of different environmental readings from three nodes.
Follow the development here
3. Low Power Sensor Nodes by Maniacbug
He created a sensor node which can be used in a wireless sensor network, to capture environmental information and send it back to the base. My main goals are for the nodes to: Be cheap and last for a year.
The author succeeded in spending $12 for a very capable Arduino-compatible node with a 2.4GHz radio running ~2.6V that should last a year and a half on 2 AA’s, or 5 months on a coin cell
Details of the work including codes can be found HERE
4. Home Wireless Sensor Network – Making Plans by mchr3k
This is a plan work that has not been carried out and should cost about £11 for a single wireless node. With the following set up
• An Arduino base station receives the readings from all of the wireless sensor nodes and writes them to SD card.
• A Raspberry Pi connects to the Arduino over Bluetooth and downloads the stored readings. The Raspberry Pi connects to the internet over Wifi and uploads the readings to Pachube.
The goal of this project is to be able to take readings from wireless nodes placed around the house. This provides the following requirements.
• Building 5-10 of these sensor nodes so they need to be very cheap.
• To be able to place them wherever is best for measurements without regard for plug sockets so they need to be battery powered.
• No need replacing 5-10 batteries a week so they need to be very low power so that they can run for a few months between each battery change.
• Each node should be able to collect multiple readings although initially they will all only collect temperature
It is still in idea and stage and can be improved upon.
See details Here
5. Simple Wireless Sensor Network for Temperature Sensing by Priyans Murarka.
The authors developed a temperature sensing system such that the temperature from the sensor node is relayed to a co-ordinator sensor and then the co-ordinator node shows the user in a simple graphical form.
For the wireless communication, they used Xbee Series 2 modules with Arduino Board Shields.
This is an interesting implementation of Arduino and Wireless communication. The rest of the works including codes can be found HERE