Creating a mesh sensor network using Raspberry Pi and XBee radio modules
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SubjectResearch Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY::Electrical engineering, electronics and photonics::Electrical engineering; Raspberry Pi; XBee; Sensor networks; Wireless sensor networks; Computer network protocols; Temperature measurements; Environmental sensors; Mohonk Mountain House
A mesh network is a type of network topology in which one or more nodes are capable of relaying data within the network. The data is relayed by the router nodes, which send the messages via one or more 'hops' until it reaches its intended destination. Mesh networks can be applied in situations where the structure or shape of the network does not permit every node to be within range of its final destination. One such application is that of environmental sensing. When creating a large network of sensors, however, we are often limited by the cost of such sensors. This thesis presents a low-cost mesh network framework, to which any number of different sensors can be attached. The hardware configuration is detailed in such a way that anyone with a modest understanding of technology will be able to reproduce it. The software setup required by the user has also been minimized and clearly documented. Details specific to the user's setup can be entered into a configuration file and the majority of software scripts are scheduled to run automatically via Linux Cron jobs. I conclude by outlining several potential modifications to the framework, including further automation of the software setup, inclusion of additional hardware, and alternate methods for downloading data from the network.
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