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Sensors 2014, 14(12), 24441-24461;

The Benefits of Soft Sensor and Multi-Rate Control for the Implementation of Wireless Networked Control Systems

Group of Automation and Integrated Systems, Univ. Estadual Paulista—UNESP, Av. Três de Março 511, Sorocaba 18087-180, Brazil
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of São Paulo—USP at São Carlos, Av. Trabalhador São Carlense 400, São Carlos 13566-590, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2014 / Revised: 7 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Recent advances in wireless networking technology and the proliferation of industrial wireless sensors have led to an increasing interest in using wireless networks for closed loop control. The main advantages of Wireless Networked Control Systems (WNCSs) are the reconfigurability, easy commissioning and the possibility of installation in places where cabling is impossible. Despite these advantages, there are two main problems which must be considered for practical implementations of WNCSs. One problem is the sampling period constraint of industrial wireless sensors. This problem is related to the energy cost of the wireless transmission, since the power supply is limited, which precludes the use of these sensors in several closed-loop controls. The other technological concern in WNCS is the energy efficiency of the devices. As the sensors are powered by batteries, the lowest possible consumption is required to extend battery lifetime. As a result, there is a compromise between the sensor sampling period, the sensor battery lifetime and the required control performance for the WNCS. This paper develops a model-based soft sensor to overcome these problems and enable practical implementations of WNCSs. The goal of the soft sensor is generating virtual data allowing an actuation on the process faster than the maximum sampling period available for the wireless sensor. Experimental results have shown the soft sensor is a solution to the sampling period constraint problem of wireless sensors in control applications, enabling the application of industrial wireless sensors in WNCSs. Additionally, our results demonstrated the soft sensor potential for implementing energy efficient WNCS through the battery saving of industrial wireless sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft sensor; mathematical model; wireless sensors; energy efficiency soft sensor; mathematical model; wireless sensors; energy efficiency
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mansano, R.K.; Godoy, E.P.; Porto, A.J.V. The Benefits of Soft Sensor and Multi-Rate Control for the Implementation of Wireless Networked Control Systems. Sensors 2014, 14, 24441-24461.

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