The "Wireless Sensor Networks for City-Wide Ambient Intelligence (WISE-WAI)" Project

Sensors (Basel). 2009;9(6):4056-82. doi: 10.3390/s90604056. Epub 2009 May 27.


This paper gives a detailed technical overview of some of the activities carried out in the context of the "Wireless Sensor networks for city-Wide Ambient Intelligence (WISE-WAI)" project, funded by the Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo Foundation, Italy. The main aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale wireless sensor network deployments, whereby tiny objects integrating one or more environmental sensors (humidity, temperature, light intensity), a microcontroller and a wireless transceiver are deployed over a large area, which in this case involves the buildings of the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova. We will describe how the network is organized to provide full-scale automated functions, and which services and applications it is configured to provide. These applications include long-term environmental monitoring, alarm event detection and propagation, single-sensor interrogation, localization and tracking of objects, assisted navigation, as well as fast data dissemination services to be used, e.g., to rapidly re-program all sensors over-the-air. The organization of such a large testbed requires notable efforts in terms of communication protocols and strategies, whose design must pursue scalability, energy efficiency (while sensors are connected through USB cables for logging and debugging purposes, most of them will be battery-operated), as well as the capability to support applications with diverse requirements. These efforts, the description of a subset of the results obtained so far, and of the final objectives to be met are the scope of the present paper.

Keywords: ambient intelligence; implementation; radio channel model identification, localization; testbed; tracking; wireless reprogramming; wireless sensor networks.