Wireless sensor network program expanded

National Instruments introduces new WSN gateway and measurement node to extend communication and measurement capabilities.

05/27/2011


National Instruments has announced two products to extend the communication and measurement capabilities of the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) platform. The NI 9792 is a programmable WSN gateway that can communicate with NI WSN measurement nodes as well as other hardware through a variety of open communication standards. The gateway combines an NI LabVIEW Real-Time controller and an integrated WSN radio so that LabVIEW Real-Time applications can run locally on the gateway to aggregate data from NI WSN devices, making the NI 9792 ideal for embedded, wireless data-logging applications. The NI WSN-3226 voltage/resistance temperature detector (RTD) combination node extends the measurement capabilities of the NI WSN platform to include support for resistance-based measurements such as RTDs and potentiometers and provides engineers and scientists the ability to combine voltage and temperature measurements on one NI WSN device.

The NI 9792 gateway, which is programmable with the LabVIEW Real-Time Module for stand-alone operation, features a high-performance 533 MHz processor and 2 GB of onboard storage for embedded data-logging applications. The new gateway also features integrated Web (HTTP) and file (FTP) servers, which makes it possible for remote access to measurement data from thin client devices such as smartphones and mobile computers, according to National Instruments. The NI 9792 includes an RS232 serial port and dual Ethernet ports to provide flexible connectivity to other devices such as enterprise-level networks or wired I/O systems. With this flexibility, engineers and scientists can reportedly create a complete wired and wireless measurement solution to meet various application needs.

The WSN-3226 measurement node adds resistance-based measurements to the NI WSN platform and features four analog input channels that can be configured on a per-channel basis for ±10 V measurements or resistive measurements. The new measurement node provides engineers and scientists the flexibility to choose between high-speed and high-resolution analog input modes on the device, optimizing the power and performance trade-offs for their applications. The WSN-3226 also features two bidirectional digital channels that can be configured on a per-channel basis for input, sinking output or sourcing output. Additionally, the measurement node can be powered by four AA batteries, with an operational lifetime of up to three years, or externally powered with a 5 to 30 V supply, which offers improved efficiency for energy harvesting applications.

Using the LabVIEW WSN Module Pioneer, engineers and scientists can customize the behavior of the WSN-3226 by adding intelligence to extend battery life, increase analog and digital input performance, perform local control, analysis and data reduction and interface with custom sensors. Additionally, the latest version of NI WSN software, NI WSN 1.2, provides support for WSN-3226, along with other features including faster firmware updates, more accurate data time-stamping and automatic I/O variable deployment. The software also delivers Web-based configuration of the NI 9792 gateway, eliminating the need for application software to configure and set up a WSN.

NI WSN can be used in long-term data logging and remote monitoring in the following applications:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Energy monitoring
  • Building monitoring
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Distributed temperature monitoring
  • Transportation
  • Industrial monitoring

See more on wireless at www.controleng.com/wireless

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com