Adoption of wireless technology for remote monitoring applications is growing but one important need is an integrated hardware/software solution that combines measurement quality, power management and reliable hardware for long-term, remote deployments.
"The uniqueness of the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) is its ability, over the air, to deploy and distribute code that can provide embedded intelligence on a WSN node," says Robert Jackson, product manager for NI Wireless Sensor Networks. He says customers are using LabVIEW graphical programming software and low-power, reliable wireless measurement nodes. The highlights of the product are its ability to reduce the amount of data users need to send, embedded intelligence in each node and local sensor control using embedded LabVIEW programming.
NI software integration allows end users to create complete application solutions, including hybrid wired and wireless systems and connectivity to third-party devices. LabVIEW programs can be downloaded wirelessly to run on WSN nodes to achieve longer battery life, integration with custom sensors and embedded decision making.
A key differentiator is the ability to wirelessly download graphical LabVIEW code to distributed measurement nodes. This gives users the ability to customize node firmware, achieve both longer battery life and higher sample rates, perform data reduction and analysis on the node and execute local decision making on the node. Each WSN node can operate for up to three years on four AA batteries and offers mesh routing capabilities to extend network distance and reliability.
The WSN-3202 four-channel, plus or minus 10-V analog input node and WSN-3212 four-channel, 24-bit thermocouple input node have four digital I/O channels that can be configured for input, sinking output or sourcing output. The platform also includes the WSN-9791 Ethernet gateway, which is used to connect the measurement nodes to LabVIEW.
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