New sensor array transforms data collection

Infrastructure protection, disasters, resilience, sensor network | Homeland Security News Wire

New sensor array transforms data collection

18 March 2015

As urban populations increase, so too does the complexity involved in maintaining basic services like clean water and emergency services. One of the biggest barriers to making cities “smarter” — for example, comprehensively monitoring sources of waterway pollutants in real time — is quick and easy access to data. Future scenarios like these depend on technology not yet widely available. Future “smart” cities would have to feature hundreds, maybe thousands, of strategically placed sensors. These devices would record everything from air pressure and temperature to microbial content, and the data would be relayed instantly to the laptops of people who can make decisions based on what they are seeing. Researchers have developed the Waggle platform to outfit researchers with a next-generation data collection capabilities.

As urban populations increase, so too does the complexity involved in maintaining basic services like clean water and emergency services. One of the biggest barriers to making cities “smarter” — for example, comprehensively monitoring sources of waterway pollutants in real time — is quick and easy access to data.

Future scenarios like these depend on technology not yet widely available. Future “smart” cities would have to feature hundreds, maybe thousands, of strategically placed sensors. These devices would record everything from air pressure and temperature to microbial content, and the data would be relayed instantly to the laptops of people who can make decisions based on what they are seeing.

An ANL release reports that researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are laying the groundwork for that future now. Their newly developed Waggle platform outfits researchers with a next-generation data collection experience. Featuring the same type of circuit board and real-time processing speeds inside your smartphone, “Wagglers” can add their own mix of sensors, specific to what they’re researching, and install programs onto a single low-power “system on a chip” computer board, complete with a Linux-based operating system to control them.

 

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