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March 3, 2006





1

INTRODUCTION
Even though our nation’s general population is moving into suburban areas, there
remains a great deal of infrastructure in remote areas which support the activities we undertake
each day. Farms are far from cities, railroads travel through u
npopulated areas, and
important
research is carried out

in the wilderness. It is often required that someone travel to these places
to monitor the conditions or equipment in the vicinity, expending gas and time.

It would be to the benefit of
many if a s
ystem could be put in place
which would monitor the conditions and
equipment in these remote areas and
relay that information back to the main
“home” office of the individuals
concerned. This will become a
possibility through the work of the
company Leadi
ng Edge Tech Solutions
and the project EARTHSense.

In concert with interested individuals at Texas A&M University, LETS will research,
design, integrate, test,

and deliver a prototype of such a system to serve as
a research platform.
This will

allow for future expansion of the system beyond
as it is currently envisioned.

Presently,
the system will be designed to measure the moisture in the soil and the slope o
f the ground.

The system will consist of several wireless sensor units and a central unit placed within
an area to be monitored. Each wireless sensor unit will have sensors attached to it to monitor the
desired characteristics. Motes attached to the se
nsor units will transmit this data to the central
unit, which in turn will relay this data to the “home” office of the individuals interested in the
area. CrossBow technology will make this possible through the use of their wireless sensor
networks.

Tho
ugh this system will be used only in the two applications given earlier, the
possibilities for this system are numerous; it is only the imagination of future engineers that
would hold this system back from achieving great potential.




OBJECTIVES


With th
e promise of future expansion, project EARTHSense will be carried out with
several objectives kept in mind:



To gain a better understanding of mesh sensor networks.



To understand more fully the requirements and limitations of powering this remote
system.



To

observe how this system could be deployed and operated in a remote area of interest.



To develop a proof
-
of
-
concept system that can be improved and added upon.


These objectives will determine how EARTHSense is developed into a functional
network of sensor
s. Figure 1 offers a block diagram for EARTHSense.





March 3, 2006



2

Figu
re 1
.

EARTHSense Block Diagram


The wireless sensor network
will be created by integrating CrossBow technology with
other components
. As this research platform will measure mois
ture and slope, moisture and tilt
sensors will be used in its development. Motes will provide a means of data transmission between
other motes and to the

home


office through a central unit. Wireless sensor units and a central
unit will bring together t
he separate components responsible for making the system work. The
central unit will take transmissions from within the area and send them to the “home” office
through a cellular network.



WORK PLAN


To achieve any goal, proper planning and management m
ust be considered and followed
through with. Project EARTHSense has been divided into six phases to better plan and manage
the workload and effor
ts that the project will require
. These phases are briefly described here.



PHASE 1:

RESEARCH

The components
making up the sensor network as well as the concepts of this
project will be researched. The field in which testing will be conducted will also be
examined.



PHASE 2:

WIRELESS SENSOR UNIT

DESIGN

The
components of the wireless sensor unit will be designe
d and integrated into one
unit.
A second unit will then be constructed based on the first.





PHASE 3:

CENTRAL UNIT DESIGN

The separate parts of the central unit will be designed and developed. This unit
will
also
include a connection to

a PC so that
a
tie

between the remote system and a
simulated “home” office can be seen.




March 3, 2006



3



PHASE 4:

IMPLEMENTATION

After the completion of the separate units, they will be bought together into a
compete system and set up for testing
. This will be done in a remote locati
on away from
the simulated “home” office.



PHASE 5:

TESTING

Several tests will be conducted including moisture tests, slope test, data
transmission test, and power consumption tests.

This is to provide proof
-
o
f
-
concept of
the project. Results will be d
ocumented to show the
limitations and capabilities

of the
system.



PHASE 6:

DOCUMENTATION

Documentation will be maintained throughout the project and will be finalized in
the
last

phase. Such documentation includes a user’s manual, specifications of the
c
omponents,
test plan and results,
and schematics.



MILESTONES



Several

events will signify progress of the project and allow for a furtherance of the work
plan.
They will
indicate

that all individuals involved in the project understand the concepts of

the project leading up to the event and that they are prepared to move on to the next steps.
These
milestones include:



END OF RESEARCH


After researching,
proper orders can be placed so that the appropriate parts can be
bought. This event will signify t
hat LETS has an in
-
depth knowledge of what will be
required to make the project possible.



ACQUIRE COMPONENTS

The parts for the project will be ordered. Documentation will be kept showing
what model they are, where they were brought, and how much they we
re.



DESIGN PROOF
-
OF
-
CONCEPTS


Upon receiving the separate parts, they will be integrated into a complete system.
With each integration of a new component into the overall system, a proof
-
of
-
concept
demonstration will be provided to those concerned to ensu
re the project is making
progress.



INTEGRATED TESTS PROOF
-
OF
-
CONCEPTS


When the final component has been added to the system, several tests will be ran
to prove the operation of EARTHSense is accurate and reliable. These tests will allow
for further docum
entation of the project so that its limitations, capabilities, and
minimums can be preserved.





DELIVERABLES





March 3, 2006



4


As the project progresses, there will be several deliverables made to the customer which
they can keep for their own benefit. These deliverabl
es are listed:



INTERIM


Interim deliverables are used to show
advancement

of the
project as it is going on.
They are delivered on a weekly basis to keep those involved with the project informed on
where it stands and the concepts behind it. A short list
of these deliverables is listed here:



Research Documents



Schematics



Parts List



Component Integration Documents



FINAL


Final deliverables are delivered at the end of the project and represent the
its
completion
. These deliverables are given with brief desc
riptions.



Wireless Sensor Unit Prototype



Two wireless sensor units will be delivered for further evaluation

and
research.



Central Unit Prototype



Along with the wireless sensor unit prototypes, a central unit will

be
provided so that the system is co
mplete.



User’s Manual



A user’s manual explaining how to install and operate this system

will be
developed and delivered for future users who wish to expand upon

the system.



Test Plan & Results



The test plan used in testing and the results of those
tests will be

offered.
This will allow for future knowledge of what the system must

have to operate and
what it cannot handle.



Specifications




How the network worked, what its limitations are, and what

minimums must be met for it to operate will be
given.



Code




The code used to program the CrossBow motes and other




components will be provided.








RESOURCES



As with all things,
expenses

must be taken into account to ensure the project is done in a
cost
-
effective manner. A short list of reso
urces and their costs is offered here, divided by the
labor and the materials required for the project.





March 3, 2006



5



Labor

Four Engineers ($ 25/hour)



$
64,000



Materials

Experimental Field


$
400

Platform (x2)

Sensors





$ 40

Radio Transmitter




$ 50

Solar Power Sys.


$ 400

Structure



$ 30




Central Unit

Radio Transmitter



$ 50

Solar Power System
$ 400

PC 104



$ 300


CDMA Modem


$
300



Structure



$ 50

Misc.



$
800

Lab ($800/month)


$3200



The project will take four months and the costs have been calculated on that scale. The
cost for labor is expected to be $ 64,000 while the cost for materials is expected to be $ 6,450.
This will place the total cost for

the project at $ 70,540.