With the need for security, mobility and flexibility ever increasing, wireless sensor networks are used in virtually all areas of everyday life. Characterized by distributed data acquisition, decentralized application software and mesh communication, they enable innovative solutions. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has undertaken research and application development in this area for many years. Our work ranges from technology for simple point-to-point data transmission to small, centrally controlled networks to large-scale self-organizing communication networks. Where standard wireless solutions fail to meet requirements (e.g. in terms of data rate, power consumption, communication range, latency, network topology or miniaturization), we develop custom systems.
Fraunhofer IIS’s services in the area of wireless sensor networks range from the selection of suitable protocols to the development of custom solutions and applications. Thanks to our many years of experience with various frequency bands (402 MHz, 434 MHz, 868 / 915 MHz, 1.9 GHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz), we are able to offer wireless solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Having partial solutions ready, Fraunhofer IIS also provides rapid prototyping services.Wireless sensor nodes can be added to many technologies for industrial or domestic use in order to increase their convenience and efficiency.
Many applications in the industrial and home sectors can be complemented with wireless sensor nodes and thus made more convenient and efficient. With its flexibly adjustable protocol properties, s-net® technology for wireless sensor networks allows extremely energy-saving applications to be developed, while also offering other outstanding features for customized solutions. The dynamic self-organization of the sensor nodes (“hot plug-and-play”) requires little configuration work and contributes to the successful implementation of robust sensor networks. The potential for energy to be supplied via inductive charging or energy harvesting minimizes maintenance needs.
Fraunhofer IIS’s s-net® technology is geared towards these three main application areas:
– Durable systems of distributed data acquisition
– Tracking of people and objects
– Systems that autonomously perform tasks
Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0
Over the last few years, s-net® technology has formed the basis for a number of measuring, metrology, and control applications with wireless sensor networks. Especially in the context of Industry 4.0, s-net® technology offers enormous potential for a large number of innovative applications. Digitized production benefits from the use of wireless sensor networks in such areas as intralogistics (e.g. intelligent picking systems) as well as process control and monitoring (e.g. condition monitoring, predictive maintenance).
Sensor networks can form the basis for interaction between machines (M2M) and between information systems and the physical world (CPS – cyber-physical systems). Intelligent objects operating within the framework of CPS can detect their application and environmental situation and, together with users, interactively affect the situation. They can also control their behavior based on the situation in question. Integrating context-aware smart objects paves the way for universal digitization of processes from production to recycling. In digitized value-creation chains, all relevant data about e.g. production output, product quality, and product conditions is available at all times, allowing new types of business models to be developed.
The potential areas of application of wireless sensor networks in smart cities are almost limitless. In both the private (smart home) and public and business areas of building control, consumption units can be intelligently linked, read out, and controlled in accordance with requirements. For example, data about fill levels or meters can be aggregated and read out wirelessly (this is known as wireless metering).