Autonomous Distributed Plant Monitoring Network

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-217
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Toyon Research Corp.
6800 Cortona Drive, Goleta, CA, 93117
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Roger Helkey
Senior Scientist
(805) 968-6787
Business Contact:
Marcella Lindbery
Director of Finance and Contracts
(805) 968-6787
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovative Research Phase I project supports the preliminary research for the development of a system of wireless sensors that harvest their power from their immediate environment. This will allow the distribution of maintenance free monitoring points throughout the plant environment. Currently available wireless sensors require continuous maintenance for the replacement of their batteries. The weight of the batteries in the sensor can also influence the physical events they are monitoring. The proposed system will demonstrate the feasibility of producing a self powered, compact wireless sensor module which would be capable of continuous operation unattended and be small enough to not influence its measurements. The wireless network must be robust and conducive to installations in industrial environments. The mesh networking of the sensors will be based on a proven standard (WirelessHART or ISA100a) utilizing TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) and FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access) to provide a robust and low power communication link. This program will also research the architecture for a plant management system that combines the measured values with operational data, maintenance data and Condition-Based Maintenance information. BENEFIT: The growth in the areas of Condition Based Maintenance and Wireless Monitoring will provide a large market opportunity for products that can be derived from this work. Maintenance free devices will not only save money from the cost of the batteries, but also the greater expense of the labor required to do the replacement. This research will also lead to the elimination of the hazardous chemical waste inherent in the batteries and long term cost of providing proper disposal services. These factors will provide a compelling reason for industry to choose monitoring devices based on this technology.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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