Tec de Monterrey Scientists Create a New Network to Prevent Forest Fires

Using renewable energy instead of batteries, this remote monitoring system will communicate any contingency from the forest.

14 August, 2018

By Michael Ramírez

A new system of sensors that do not require batteries and can be used in open environments and remote places -such as forests- was developed by scientists from the Telecommunications Research Group at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Escuela de Ingeniería.

With this routing protocol for wireless sensor networks, Dr. César Vargas, Dr. Mahdi Zareei and Dr. Leyre Azpilicueta recently obtained one of the Newton Funds for mobility by CONACYT and the Royal Society, the oldest scientific society in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Vargas, leader of the Telecommunications Research Group, explained that the protocol consists of deploying sensors in a forest, in order to monitor different variables such as temperature and humidity.

“With this remote monitoring, data will be collected from a base and when certain events occur, we will be able to know if something is happening, instead of waiting until the fire is seen at night”, the researcher explained.

THE PROTOCOL CONSISTS OF DEPLOYING SENSORS IN A FOREST, IN ORDER TO MONITOR DIFFERENT VARIABLES SUCH AS TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY.

“We have previously worked with sensors, we used to monitor the human body as well as other devices’ search and location. But now we are applying this technology in remote environments and open areas of difficult access for humans”, said Dr. Vargas.

However, it is important to know how to efficiently use sensor’s energy, therefore, we propose to use sensors that do not require a battery, recharging from sunlight instead.

WE PROPOSE TO USE SENSORS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A BATTERY, RECHARGING FROM SUNLIGHT INSTEAD.

“Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have traditionally been approached with the assumption of using battery-powered sensors, so minimizing energy consumption was the main objective of this project. Currently, the ability to extract energy from the environment allowed us to design a self-sustaining system”, explained Mahdi Zareei, a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Group.

He explained that current wireless systems pose design challenges due to the unstable amount of energy that can be extracted from the environment. In view of this, this project proposes a new protocol that uses adaptive transmission power to maintain constant connectivity and distribute traffic load in the network.

Mahdi Zareei also stated that “results of the simulation we performed indicate that this new protocol keeps the network connected most of the time by using efficient power management, as each node dynamically adjusts its transmission power to maximize end-to-end performance”.

Results of the simulation performed indicate that the network was connected most of the time due to the use of an adaptive transmission power protocol.

 

To know more:
The effects of an Adaptive and Distributed Transmission Power Control on the performance of energy harvesting sensor networks