Press release

Wireless sensor network for research, testing and teaching

5Gforce
Wireless sensor network devices are very compact. Photo: Joonas Säe
Electrical Engineering unit from Tampere University and Wirepas Oy are developing a large-scale wireless mesh network within Tampere University Hervanta campus. The network utilizes a mesh protocol developed by Wirepas that enables the devices in the network to communicate with each other.

Tampere University and Wirepas are participating in a national Business Finland funded project called 5G-FORCE. The project develops and implements new 5G test networks for universities and companies to trial new applications for these networks. Part of the project focuses on massive machine type communications (mMTC) enabling a large number of devices to be connected to the network.

The new campus-wide mesh network enables an easy way to add new functionalities, in example, a temperature monitoring of an office, presence or motion detector or even control of intelligent lighting systems with the use of small sensor devices.

“The new mesh network makes it easy to add several type of sensors without the need to install cables and thus add ‘smart building’ features to old facilities”, describes Joonas Säe, a postdoctoral researcher from Electrical Engineering unit.

“The coverage of the network is also easy to extend, just add new sensors close by to the existing coverage and the network extends automatically”, Säe continues.

Large-scale mesh network in university environment

Last week a number of Salcomp manufactured plugs operating with Wirepas Mesh have been installed within the university corridors throughout the campus area. The network has 100 nodes operating in a low-latency fashion enabling fast wireless sensor network to the whole university campus. Currently, the topology of the network is a chain and has only one gateway with one sink making the whole mesh network operation interesting. Besides the low-latency mesh network, Tietotalo has another mesh network consisting of over 150 nodes with several different manufacturers’ devices capable of measuring in example temperature, humidity and air pressure. All of these companies making the devices, including Treon, Sensoan, Salsomp, and Ruuvitag, utilize the same Wirepas Mesh network protocol. Next step is to merge these different networks to one network and include over 200 nodes more to it. Then it will be connected to the new upcoming 5G test network in the Hervanta campus to test how well the mMTC can be added on top of a 5G network.

“Wireless sensor network operating over 5G network would enable an easy way to add a sensor network also to those areas without the conventional fixed communication network capabilities. Therefore, the wireless sensor network could also be utilized with small latency in example for more critical use cases,” Säe explains.

How to take part in the mesh network utilization?

Students can get access to the mesh network through teaching activities in the future. Any company wishing to collaborate with the mesh network have to contact Wirepas representative Juho Pirskanen.

More information:
Univesity – Joonas Säe, puh. 040 844 7907, joonas.sae [at] tuni.fi
Wirepas – Juho Pirskanen, puh. 050 363 6632, juho.pirskanen [at] wirepas.com