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J. Sens. Actuator Netw., Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Control of Power Electronics through a Photonic Bus: Feasibility and Prospects
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040053
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
The ubiquitous diffusion of Power Electronic Converters (PECs) in many fields of application including traction and energy conversion suggests the possibility of new and better integration of advanced power conversion and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services. This work investigates the possible advancements
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The ubiquitous diffusion of Power Electronic Converters (PECs) in many fields of application including traction and energy conversion suggests the possibility of new and better integration of advanced power conversion and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services. This work investigates the possible advancements in the use of optical communication links made of plastic optical fibers for control of PECs. The optical communication link connects the switching control to the converter control, following the line of separation between the expertise of power electronic and control engineers. Control wise, a PEC is a black box compatible with any off-board controller, now immune from the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) produced by the power switches. The redundant optical link is ready for the high switching and sampling frequencies, made possible by relying on SiC power semiconductor devices (100+ kHz). Distributed control of multiple PEC units and advanced telemetry for diagnostics and prognostics are targeted. A proof-of-concept demonstrator is presented and tested. Moreover, the possible evolution towards a power electronic cloud with remote management and orchestration is described. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Networking of Multi-Robot Systems: Architectures and Requirements
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040052
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
A large number of advancements have taken place in microprocessor-based systems leading to significantly more processing, memory, storage, sensing, actuating, recognition, controlling and communication capabilities. Robotics is one of the areas that have benefited a lot from these advancements. Many important and useful
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A large number of advancements have taken place in microprocessor-based systems leading to significantly more processing, memory, storage, sensing, actuating, recognition, controlling and communication capabilities. Robotics is one of the areas that have benefited a lot from these advancements. Many important and useful applications for single-robot and multi-robot systems (MRS) have emerged. Such applications include search and rescue, detection of forest fires, mining, construction, disaster management, and many more. MRS systems greatly enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of today’s robots. They extend the robotic system capabilities by increasing the ability to perform more complex tasks and allow performance of inherently distributed ones. In addition, they increase parallelism, enhance robustness, and improve system reliability. However, to perform their tasks in an effective manner, communication between the individual robots becomes an essential component. In this paper, we discuss the various types and architectures of MRS systems and focus on the networking issues, and services that are required to enable MRS systems to be more efficient in performing their roles in their respective applications. We also identify the similarities and differences between mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) and MRS systems, analyze robot-to-robot (R2R) and robot-to-infrastructure (R2I) communication links, and identify the protocols that can be used at the various levels in the MRS hierarchy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor and Actuator Networks: Feature Papers 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Analysis of Adaptive Hierarchical Low-Power Long-Range Networks
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040051
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
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Abstract
A new phase of evolution of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication has started where vertical Internet of Things (IoT) deployments dedicated to a single application domain gradually change to multi-purpose IoT infrastructures that service different applications across multiple industries. New networking technologies are being deployed
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A new phase of evolution of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication has started where vertical Internet of Things (IoT) deployments dedicated to a single application domain gradually change to multi-purpose IoT infrastructures that service different applications across multiple industries. New networking technologies are being deployed operating over sub-GHz frequency bands that enable multi-tenant connectivity over long distances and increase network capacity by enforcing low transmission rates to increase network capacity. Such networking technologies allow cloud-based platforms to be connected with large numbers of IoT devices deployed several kilometres from the edges of the network. Despite the rapid uptake of Long-power Wide-area Networks (LPWANs), it remains unclear how to organize the wireless sensor network in a scaleable and adaptive way. This paper introduces a hierarchical communication scheme that utilizes the new capabilities of Long-Range Wireless Sensor Networking technologies by combining them with broadly used 802.11.4-based low-range low-power technologies. The design of the hierarchical scheme is presented in detail along with the technical details on the implementation in real-world hardware platforms. A platform-agnostic software firmware is produced that is evaluated in real-world large-scale testbeds. The performance of the networking scheme is evaluated through a series of experimental scenarios that generate environments with varying channel quality, failing nodes, and mobile nodes. The performance is evaluated in terms of the overall time required to organize the network and setup a hierarchy, the energy consumption and the overall lifetime of the network, as well as the ability to adapt to channel failures. The experimental analysis indicate that the combination of long-range and short-range networking technologies can lead to scalable solutions that can service concurrently multiple applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor and Actuator Networks: Feature Papers 2018)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Adaptive Beamforming Time with Round-Robin MAC Algorithm for Reducing Energy Consumption in MANET
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040050
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
The use of smart antenna systems (SASs) in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) has been promoted as the best choice to improve spatial division multiple access (SDMA) and throughput. Although directional communications are expected to provide great advantages in terms of network performance,
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The use of smart antenna systems (SASs) in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) has been promoted as the best choice to improve spatial division multiple access (SDMA) and throughput. Although directional communications are expected to provide great advantages in terms of network performance, directional MAC (medium access control) protocols introduce several issues. One of the most known problems in this context is represented by the fact that, when attempting to solve or at least mitigate the problems introduced by these kinds of antennas especially at MAC layer, a large amount of energy consumption is achieved; for example, due to excessive retransmissions introduced by very frequently issue such as deafness and handoff. The expedients proposed in order to reduce these drawbacks attempting to limit beamforming time of nodes in cooperation with a round-robin scheduling can grant high performance in terms of fairness and throughput. However, the overall energy distribution in the network is not efficient due to static approach. In view of this, we propose adaptive beamforming time with round-robin MAC providing a dynamic assignment of the beamforming time with the aim to limit the waste of energy of nodes. The proposed approach provides benefits in terms of energy consumption distribution among nodes in sectorized antennas environments and, simultaneously, improves MAC packet performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Management in Distributed Wireless Networks)
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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks for Smart Cities
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040049
Received: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
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Abstract
Our lives are being transformed by the interplay between mobile networks, wireless communications, and artificial intelligence. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks for Smart Cities)
Open AccessArticle Tracking a Jammer in Wireless Sensor Networks and Selecting Boundary Nodes by Estimating Signal-to-Noise Ratios and Using an Extended Kalman Filter
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040048
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
This work investigates boundary node selection when tracking a jammer. A technique to choose nodes to track jammers by estimating signal-to-noise Ratio (SNR), jammer-to-noise ratio (JNR), and jammer received signal strength (JRSS) are introduced in this paper. We proposed a boundary node selection
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This work investigates boundary node selection when tracking a jammer. A technique to choose nodes to track jammers by estimating signal-to-noise Ratio (SNR), jammer-to-noise ratio (JNR), and jammer received signal strength (JRSS) are introduced in this paper. We proposed a boundary node selection threshold (BNST) algorithm. Every node can become a boundary node by comparing the SNR threshold, the average SNR estimated at the boundary node, and the received BNST value. The maximum sensing range, transmission range, and JRSS are the main parts of this algorithm. The algorithm is divided into three steps. In the first step, the maximum distance between two jammed nodes is found. Next, the maximum distance between the jammed node and its unjammed neighbors is computed. Finally, maximum BNST value is estimated. The extended Kalman filter (EKF) is utilized in this work to track the jammer and estimate its position in a different time step using selected boundary nodes. The experiment validates the benefits of selecting a boundary when tracking a jammer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Open-Source Wireless Cloud-Connected Agricultural Sensor Network
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040047
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
Agricultural research involves study of the complex soil–plant–atmosphere–water system, and data relating to this system must be collected under often-harsh outdoor conditions in agricultural environments. Rapid advancements in electronic technologies in the last few decades, as well as more recent widespread proliferation and
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Agricultural research involves study of the complex soil–plant–atmosphere–water system, and data relating to this system must be collected under often-harsh outdoor conditions in agricultural environments. Rapid advancements in electronic technologies in the last few decades, as well as more recent widespread proliferation and adoption of electronic sensing and communications, have created many options to address the needs of professional, as well as amateur, researchers. In this study, an agricultural research project was undertaken to collect data and examine the effects of different agronomic practices on yield, with the objectives being to develop a monitoring system to measure soil moisture and temperature conditions in field plots and to upload the data to an internet website. The developed system included sensor nodes consisting of sensors and electronic circuitry to read and transmit sensor data via radio and a cellular gateway to receive node data and forward the data to an internet website via cellular infrastructure. Microcontroller programs were written to control the nodes and gateway, and an internet website was configured to receive and display sensor data. The battery-powered sensor nodes cost $170 each, including electronic circuitry and sensors, and they were operated throughout the cropping season with little maintenance on a single set of batteries. The solar-powered gateway cost $163 to fabricate, plus an additional cost of $2 per month for cellular network access. Wireless and cellular data transmissions were reliable, successfully transferring 95% of sensor data to the internet website. Application of open-source hardware, wireless data transfer, and internet-based data access therefore offers many options and advantages for agricultural sensing and monitoring efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Opportunistically Exploiting Internet of Things for Wireless Sensor Network Routing in Smart Cities
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040046
Received: 8 July 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 26 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
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Abstract
With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), the research on Smart Cities with wireless sensor networks (WSNs) got leveraged due to similarities between objectives in both Smart City and IoT. Along with them, research in controlling WSN faces new challenges and opportunities
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With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), the research on Smart Cities with wireless sensor networks (WSNs) got leveraged due to similarities between objectives in both Smart City and IoT. Along with them, research in controlling WSN faces new challenges and opportunities for data aggregation and routing has received consistent focus from researchers. Yet new techniques are being proposed to address modern challenges in WSN and efficient resource utilization. Moreover, solutions are required to integrate existing deployed WSN with ever increasing numbers of IoT devices in Smart Cities, that benefit both. In this work, we present an approach for routing in a WSN, in which IoT is used opportunistically to reduce the communication overhead of the sensors. In our approach, WSN deployed in a Smart City interacts with the IoT devices to route the data to the sink. We build a prototype Integration Platform for the WSN that allows interaction with IoT devices and utilizes them opportunistically that results in an energy efficient routing of data. Simulation results show that the direction is quite promising and our approach offers to utilize IoT to gain unique advantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Compressive Sensing-Based IoT Applications: A Review
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040045
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) holds great promises to provide an edge cutting technology that enables numerous innovative services related to healthcare, manufacturing, smart cities and various human daily activities. In a typical IoT scenario, a large number of self-powered smart devices collect
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The Internet of Things (IoT) holds great promises to provide an edge cutting technology that enables numerous innovative services related to healthcare, manufacturing, smart cities and various human daily activities. In a typical IoT scenario, a large number of self-powered smart devices collect real-world data and communicate with each other and with the cloud through a wireless link in order to exchange information and to provide specific services. However, the high energy consumption associated with the wireless transmission limits the performance of these IoT self-powered devices in terms of computation abilities and battery lifetime. Thus, to optimize data transmission, different approaches have to be explored such as cooperative transmission, multi-hop network architectures and sophisticated compression techniques. For the latter, compressive sensing (CS) is a very attractive paradigm to be incorporated in the design of IoT platforms. CS is a novel signal acquisition and compression theory that exploits the sparsity behavior of most natural signals and IoT architectures to achieve power-efficient, real-time platforms that can grant efficient IoT applications. This paper assesses the extant literature that has aimed to incorporate CS in IoT applications. Moreover, the paper highlights emerging trends and identifies several avenues for future CS-based IoT research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Joint Routing and Channel Assignment Scheme for Hybrid Wireless-Optical Broadband-Access Networks
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040044
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we investigate mechanisms for improving the quality of communications in wireless-optical broadband access networks (WOBAN), which present a promising solution to meet the growing needs for capacity of access networks. This is achieved by using multiple gateways and multi-channel operation
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In this paper, we investigate mechanisms for improving the quality of communications in wireless-optical broadband access networks (WOBAN), which present a promising solution to meet the growing needs for capacity of access networks. This is achieved by using multiple gateways and multi-channel operation along with a routing protocol that effectively reduces the effect of radio interference. We present a joint route and channel assignment scheme with the objective of maximizing the end-to-end probability of success and minimizing the end-to-end delay for all active upstream traffic in the WOBAN. Performance evaluations of the proposed scheme are presented using ns-2 simulations, which show that the proposed scheme improves the network throughput up to three times and reduces the traffic delay by six times in presence of 12 channels and four network interface cards (NICs), compared to a single channel scenario. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Context-Based Dynamic Meshed Backhaul Construction for 5G Heterogeneous Networks
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040043
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
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Abstract
Five-G heterogeneous network overlaid by millimeter-wave (mmWave) access employs mmWave meshed backhauling as a promising cost-efficient backhaul architecture. Due to the nature of mobile traffic distribution in practice which is both time-variant and spatially non-uniform, dynamic construction of mmWave meshed backhaul is a
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Five-G heterogeneous network overlaid by millimeter-wave (mmWave) access employs mmWave meshed backhauling as a promising cost-efficient backhaul architecture. Due to the nature of mobile traffic distribution in practice which is both time-variant and spatially non-uniform, dynamic construction of mmWave meshed backhaul is a prerequisite to support the varying traffic distribution. Focusing on such scenario of outdoor dynamic crowd (ODC), this paper proposes a novel method to control mmWave meshed backhaul for efficient operation of mmWave overlay 5G HetNet through Software-Defined Network (SDN) technology. Our algorithm is featured by two functionalities, i.e., backhauling route multiplexing for overloaded mmWave small cell base stations (SC-BSs) and mmWave SC-BSs’ ON/OFF status switching for underloaded spot. In this paper, the effectiveness of the proposed meshed network is confirmed by both numerical analyses and experimental results. Simulations are conducted over a practical user distribution modeled from measured data in realistic environments. Numerical results show that the proposed algorithm can cope with the locally intensive traffic and reduce energy consumption. Furthermore, a WiGig (Wireless Gigabit Alliance certified) device based testbed is developed for Proof-of-Concept (PoC) and preliminary measurement results confirm the proposed dynamic formation of the meshed network’s efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends, Issues and Challenges toward 5G)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Low-Cost Cooperative UAV Localization Network Prototype
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040042
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
Precise localization is one of the key requirements in the deployment of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for any application including precision mapping, surveillance, assisted navigation, search and rescue. The need for precise positioning is even more relevant with the increasing automation in UAVs
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Precise localization is one of the key requirements in the deployment of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for any application including precision mapping, surveillance, assisted navigation, search and rescue. The need for precise positioning is even more relevant with the increasing automation in UAVs and growing interest in commercial UAV applications such as transport and delivery. In the near future, the airspace is expected to be occupied with a large number of unmanned as well as manned aircraft, a majority of which are expected to be operating autonomously. This paper develops a new cooperative localization prototype that utilizes information sharing among UAVs and static anchor nodes for precise positioning of the UAVs. The UAVs are retrofitted with low-cost sensors including a camera, GPS receiver, UWB (Ultra Wide Band) radio and low-cost inertial sensors. The performance of the low-cost prototype is evaluated in real-world conditions in partially and obscured GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) environments. The performance is analyzed for both centralized and distributed cooperative network designs. It is demonstrated that the developed system is capable of achieving navigation grade (2–4 m) accuracy in partially GNSS denied environments, provided a consistent communication in the cooperative network is available. Furthermore, this paper provides experimental validation that information sharing is beneficial to improve positioning performance even in ideal GNSS environments. The experiments demonstrate that the major challenges for low-cost cooperative networks are consistent connectivity among UAV platforms and sensor synchronization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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