Deployment of a Sensor Network

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Titre du projet Projet Spécialité 2A 2012: Deployment of a Sensor Network
Cadre Projets de spécialité
Page principale Projet Spécialité 2A 2012: Deployment of a Sensor Network

Encadrants Franck Rousseau, Etienne Dublé

NB: this page is just a draft because we are presently doing this project. It will end June the 15th 2012.

During the 2nd year at Grenoble INP-ENSIMAG, students are asked to realize a project in group of about four students, supervized by tutors (teachers, researchers, etc). Our group composed of two students in Telecommunications (Mouhamed Soumaré and Thomas-Elliot Tollardo) and a student in Embedded Systems and Software has chosen the topic of Sensor Networks.


The sensors used during this project are MB851 sensors based on STM32W and supplied by STMicroelectronics. A sensor is a device that converts a physical quantity (electromagnetic wave, temperature, pressure) into a another quantity that can be exploited, by a computer system for instance.

For our experimentations, a network of such sensors is deployed. There are three main elements in this network.

  • the sensors that communicate between them using a wireless protocol.
  • the node which is the computer linked to the sensor with a serial connection. It gathers all the datas received by the sensor and sends them to the controller.
  • the controller which is the central computer that monitors the whole sensor network. It sets the parameters of each sensor and launchs the scenario defined by the user.

Thus, the goal of the project is to develop an environment of study for the Sensor Networks. This environment aim is to validate or refute the current work being done on the topic by researchers.

This page describes the different tasks that this environment is able to do.

Connection with the nodes

The user from the controller must be able to connect to the different nodes of the network.

Collect of informations from nodes

The first part of the project consisted in finding some ways to collect informations from the nodes linked with the sensor(s). The user defines a scenario to play in which he specifies all the comands that the controler will send to each node. He can see the evolution of the scenario not only on the standard output but also on the graphic wireshark.

Flash the sensor

Using the flasher from STMicroelectronics, we could flash all the sensors with the useful version of the Contiki firmware. To be more efficient,each command is executed in a separated thread. In the script the user launchs, he can specify which firmware he wants to use: for each node at the beginning and for each sensor by the end of our project.

Listen to the sensor

Then, the node has to be able to listen to its emulated serial port using tools such as:

  • serialDump, a tool from senslab
  • pySerial a python library
  • SerialPort from the twisted framework
  • other basic tools like minicom or cat

Forward to the controler

A TCP server on the controler is listening on sockets froms each node.

  • netcat

Parsing and utilization of the datas

Once all the informations collected on the controler, we may parse those packets. Indeed, on the output of the serial port of the sensor, the type of the packet is "slip". This kind of layer is just used to know the end of each frame. With the tool slip2pcap implemented by Etienne Dublé, we can use real-time Wireshark

Implementation of a Firmware for Contiki


ideas of experimentations:

  • interferences with the 802.11: use the 26th channel?
  • adjust the emission power of the sensors instead of filtering the MAC addresses
  • include the date in the parsed packet collected in the controler

TODO: improvements

  • with a python module, be able to know which serial port is used (ttyACM0, ttyACM1...)
  • real-time tree which describes the topology of the network


2012 2nd Year Speciality Project: Deployment of a Sensor network
Speciality Project 2012 Experimentations in a Sensor Network
Team Mouhamed Soumaré, Thomas-Elliot Tollardo, Julien Vipret
Tutors Frank Rousseau, Etienne Dublé
Institution Grenoble INP -- Ensimag
Date May 21st -June 15th 2012