A Generalized Approach to Sensor Deployment

A Generalized Approach to Sensor Deployment

Episode 3

It’s the age-old question: do you go specialized or generalized? In this case we’re talking sensors. Watch this video to help decide if a generalized or specialized sensor strategy is right for you.

They have generalized their sensor platform to have “interchangeable” sensor and radio layers. This abstraction comes at a higher capital cost (sensor price) but reduces the operational costs of development and maintenance by providing a single development platform (built atop Arduino’s SDK) for all possible sensor/network combinations.

After selecting your sensor short list, consider these lessons learned to pare your list down further.

  • Programmability – is the sensor development environment based on a known SDK/API? Will your programmers need to learn yet another API or do the sensors use one that’s well known.
  • Communication – the radios and protocols supported will define your network architecture. WiFi speaking HTTP, TCP/IP, or UDP/IP directly to the cloud is a very different deployment than one based on a mesh of gateways supporting 802.14.4 speaking 6Lo.
  • Upgrade/replace – some sensors, such as those based on chemicals, need to be replaced annually or more frequently. Make sure the sensor housing accommodates this to minimize operational cost. And not as obvious but will a second communication mechanism be needed to perform firmware updates or is the sensor software even upgradable?


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