Research Themes

The WiSAR Lab’s primary research goal is to achieve ultra low power consumption in Wireless Sensor Networks employed in the Internet of Things and in Body Area Networks (BAN). Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and particularly Body Area Networks(BAN) impose challenging requirements on hardware and software to achieve the desired lifetimes for certain devices such as implanted medical devices and remote sensors. The very limited energy supply (usually from a battery) and this desire to maximise lifetime means that the hardware, software and in particular the physical layer and data link layer protocols need to be as efficient as possible.

In order to achieve this goal of ultra low power consumption, the WiSAR Lab is carrying out research in the following main areas:

  • On-Body antennas
  • Medium Access Control
  • (Low Power) Routing Protocols
  • Low Power Measurement techniques
  • Application Testbeds

Core Competencies

The collaborative services provided by the WiSAR Lab give companies a flexible and expert R&D resource that can be used to investigate the suitability of wireless technology as part of their future product development, without the need for a large initial commitment of their own resources. WiSAR offers the following range of R&D and testing services to develop and build prototypes, perform proof of concept exercises or feasibility studies:

Wireless Testbed:

  • Testing of customer applications on defined testbed(s) using a range of analysers and signal generators.
  • RF test facilities.
  • Research into the scalability of WSNs.

Wireless Sensor Mote Development:

  • Research and development of low cost adaptable motes for proprietary commercial solutions.
  • Development and evaluation of commercially available and other experimental motes.

Wireless Design and Simulation:

  • Design and test of of custom MAC and Routing protocols.
  • Matlab and OPNET for network design and simulation.

Embedded Systems Development:

  • Development of Systems, e.g Cypress PsoC, Texas Instruments.
  • MSP430, Rabbit Semiconductor, Microblaze, ARM processor.
  • Embedded Wireless technologies, e.g. Cypress PRoC , Texas Instruments, Chipcon.

Rapid Prototyping and Proof of Concept Development:

  • 3D modelling/fabrication.
  • PCB design and build.
  • RFID consulting and testing.
  • Programmable Logic Controller simulation and testing.

SAFER Interreg Project

The Smart Atlantic Seafood Clusters, or SAFER, is a project linking aquaculture and fisheries communities across Europe’s Atlantic Coastline.

It is supported by the EU through the Interreg Atlantic Area program and aims to increase technology adoption and transnational cooperation through facilitating communications and knowledge sharing, as well as several pilot schemes to demonstrate the use of technology in the fishing industries.

More information can be found on the SAFER website.

Test Beds

The WiSAR Lab believes in deploying the outputs of its research work in live testbeds and is developing a range of testbeds and test methodologies for this purpose. These are:

  • Office Testbed – this uses off the shelf motes deployed in the WiSAR Lab offices, where a range of parameters are being monitored and in which new protocols can be tested.
  • Body Area Network Tests – a range of tests using a Vector Network Analyser and others using off the shelf motes.
  • Power Consumption Microbenchmark – a series of defined tests with supporting low level software to test features of individual mote components, primarily power consumption with a supporting amplifier circuit.