Wireless Sensor Networks By Radiocrafts

Seamless wireless connections to remote sensors using highly integrated RF modules with integrated sensor interfaces for a cost effective solution and shortest time to market.

Industry Proven Solutions

Industry Proven Solutions

Short Time To Market

Short Time To Market

High Performance

High Performance

What is Wireless Sensor Networks?

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are used in many industrial applications and they are a key ingredient in the growing Internet of Thing (IoT).

Wireless sensors can collect useful data on the status of equipment or their operating environment. The data is collected wirelessly, as cables are costly to install, especially when there is a long distance to the sensor, or when the network is retrofitted into an existing operation.

The data is then moved from the network via a gateway to a software application. The software’s intelligence then makes decisions based on the data, either from single data points, or from trends and statistics derived from large data sets.

Radiocrafts Wireless Sensor Applications by Industry

Radiocrafts RF Wireless modules can be used in various industries. Here you will find the different types of customer applications taken from the real stories in the field. Together with that we highlight the top 3 benefits of the module in each of the industry.

Agricultural sensors and irrigation

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

fast development

Fast development

Agricultural sensors are typically used to monitor the humidity in the soil the decide how and when irrigation systems are used, but also other environmental measures such as temperature, sunlight and various gases are monitored. The monitored area can range from large outdoor fields, where long-range communications transmission is key, to small indoor greenhouses. The sensors need to be battery operated, as cabling is typically not an option. Battery operation is best achieved with a star network such as Wireless M-Bus or RC232. Mesh networking is typically more power hungry as the nodes needs to be active in always listening mode. The longest range is supported with the lowest possible frequency, combined with High Power and Ultra-Narrowband, available in the Radiocrafts RC12xx and RC17xx platforms.

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Industrial alarm systems

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

secure communication

Secure communication

Industrial alarm systems continuously monitor an environment to alert employees or authorities about hazardous conditions, including high temperatures, smoke, fire, high pressure, high water, etc. Often these alarm sensors are located far from the “mains” supply lines. An additional challenge is that they are used infrequently, yet they must reliably send off an alarm on short notice when triggered. A robust radio with highest industry standard security is recommended for such applications. Robustness is achieved with Ultra-Narrowband radios which is available in the Radiocrafts RC12xx and RC17xx platforms. Ultra-Narrowband means that the radio is only open for a very narrow frequency spectrum, which means that receiver noise is minimized. Security in the Radiocrafts modules is achieved with AES-128 encryption, the most used industry standard encryption protocol for secure communication

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ARENA lighting

fast development

Fast development

long range

Long range

mesh and star options

Mesh and star options

Arenas use numerous lights that need to be repositioned for every event. The lights are often located in places where cabling is a challenge, especially in arenas where the lighting was not installed as part of the original construction. The distance between each node is typically short, but the distance from the control unit to some remote units can be very large. What’s needed is a mesh network where long distances are possible via individual nodes such as a TinyMesh network on a sub-gig frequency such as 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz. Keep in mind that the lower the frequency, the longer the reach. Radiocrafts modules at 169 MHz offer a few kilometers reach in real urban environment.

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Asset tracking in warehouses & transportation

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Asset tracking in warehouses or during transportation ensures that the location of each asset is known at all times. Additional data can also be wirelessly communicated via RF — such as temperature or humidity — so the asset’s environment can be controlled; for example, to help preserve food or medicine. Battery operated sensors communicating wireless are ideal for this. The specific requirement of the wireless link is determined by the geographical location, required range, the radio environment and data-rate needed. Wireless M-Bus on the right frequency is ideal for many applications as it is robust, secure with low power and can handle many nodes. Radiocrafts has a large portfolio of modules where an ideal solution is readily available.

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Automated control of blinds & shutters

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

predictable latency

Predictable latency

Blinds and shutters (aka “louvres”) in buildings are used to control sunlight and airflow from windows. Sensors gather the input data needed for the system and control signals are sent to the motors that drive the blinds and shutters to open and close. An intelligent master is in charge to determine when to open or shut the blind and shutters to provide for a cost efficient and comfortable climate in the building. Wireless communication is often used as the blind and shutters are located in the periphery of the building which make cabling expensive. Key parameters for selecting the radio technology is range and power, but also predictable latency. This is best supported by a low frequency radio in a star network operation. Products from Radiocrafts incudes the transparent RC232 family or the Wireless M-Bus, but also the TinyMesh if the Mesh structure remains at low complexity to avoid network congestion.

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Occupancy sensing in car parking systems

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Car parking occupancy systems use magnetic or IR sensors to determine if a specific space is in use or if it’s available. Providing cable connections to each parking spot is prohibitively expensive, so battery-powered Radiocrafts Wireless RF networks are used instead. This drives a need for low power, reliable, long-range wireless connection. The networking can be quite complex, so a robust star network is ideal. The Radiocrafts Wireless M-Bus are developed for gas and water metering sharing many of the same requirements. Wireless M-Bus has been field tested in large volumes, ensuring that the protocol is very robust and reliable, while support low power applications.

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Indoor climate sensors

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

fast development

Fast development

Indoor climate sensors are used in a variety of applications to control temperature, humidity, light, carbon dioxide, etc. The applications range from museums — where ancient artifacts need precisely controlled atmospheres — all the way to saunas and ice-bars, where we enjoy extreme temperatures that need to be, nevertheless, kept comfortable and safe. Many of the sensors are put in remote locations driving a need for low power dissipation for battery operation and radio technology with long range. Radiocrafts module supports both those criteria with module based on TinyMesh, Wireless M-Bus and RC232 RF protocols.

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Cooling for retail

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Indoor climate sensors are used in a variety of applications to control temperature, humidity, light, carbon dioxide, etc. The applications range from museums — where ancient artifacts need precisely controlled atmospheres — all the way to saunas and ice-bars, where we enjoy extreme temperatures that need to be, nevertheless, kept comfortable and safe. Many of the sensors are put in remote locations driving a need for low power dissipation for battery operation and radio technology with long range. Radiocrafts module supports both those criteria with module based on TinyMesh, Wireless M-Bus and RC232 RF protocols.

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Remote industrial controls

predictable latency

Predictable latency

long range

Long range

secure communication

Secure communication

Radiocrafts RF technologies can be ideal for Industrial Control applications when:

a)  The controlled equipment is remote
b)  Cabling is not an option
c)  Predictable latency is acceptable

Typical applications include turning on or off equipment, or controlling slow-moving devices such as an overhead crane or pump-operated valve. These applications demand highly reliable communications — over long distances and penetrating through common objects — which make Radiocrafts Ultra Narrowband devices an excellent choice as they are very robust in noisy environment. Data security is supported with AES-128 encryption, the industry standard for secure communication. Predictable latency is best supported from star networks such as RC232 or Wireless M-Bus, but also a low complexity mesh implemented with TinyMesh can be used.

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Retrofit lighting for buildings

mesh and star options

Mesh and star operation

long range

Long range

fast development

Fast development

When retrofitting the lighting of large buildings, a major challenge can be adding several new lighting control locations (or expanded lighting control capacities for new or different areas) where wiring hasn’t been previously installed. A mesh network of RF modules with sensors achieves long range, while allowing dynamic configuration, while a star network will require less power. A key criterion is range where a low frequency sub-gig on 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz or 915 MHz give good range advantage compared to 2.4GHz. A low frequency always gives a better range than a higher.

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Retrofitting sensors for HVAC

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

fast development

Fast development

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor environmental comfort. Temperature and gas sensors needed to control the indoor environment are frequently installed in locations where fixed cables are not possible, particularly in older buildings where cabling was not put in place at the time the building was constructed. A great solution for retrofitting is wireless connectivity. Radiocrafts has several options for efficient wireless RF solution that are easy to implement in indoor HVAC environmental sensors. Radio technology in buildings can be challenging due to reach. A sub-gig solution based on RF modules from Radiocrafts will provide that extra range needed to get good coverage.

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Energy-efficient street lighting

proven solutions

Proven solutions

fast development

Fast development

mesh and star options

Mesh and star options

Networked street lighting is gaining significant traction in Smart Cities and is a great way for cities and utilities to improve safety and cut costs for their customers. Radiocrafts has RF solutions that are very easy to implement – even with limited RF knowledge – enabling both quick deployment and fast ROI. The TinyMesh protocol is a very code efficient mesh solution for such application and is gaining a lot of traction globally, whereas Wireless M-Bus is a proven robust protocol for Start networking. We offer the flexibility of both Star and Mseh with the same footprint.

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Vehicle traffic monitoring

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Understanding the flow of traffic is key to optimizing transportation in crowded cities. Additional traffic management factors include the occupancy of parking lots and the traffic in bottleneck areas (e.g., bridges, construction zones, detours, etc.). Some of these information needs are temporary (construction zones, detours), so both traffic and occupancy sensors need to be moveable, precluding the use of fixed cables. A mesh network on sub-gig frequencies, such as a TinyMesh network, allows for long range between nodes and at the same time the network flexibility provided by the mesh structure. If a very low power solution is needed, then Wireless M-Bus is an alternative that provides for a robust low power solution.

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Optimized collection for waste management

Battery operation

Battery operation

long range

Long range

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Cities can optimize their collection of waste by knowing the level of waste in each individual container. The container can then automatically “request” to be emptied only when full. The system includes the container, a level sensor, a locator (e.g., GPS), and a wireless RF device. The requirements on the RF connection is that it is low power (it is battery driven), can support long range and is reliable and secure. The Radiocrafts Wireless M-Bus module are ideal for this, as they are developed for battery operated meters that are located in challenging positions for the radio signal. The frequency determines the range where the 169 MHz low frequency has the best range, but they are also available in 433 MHz and 868 MHz.

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Wireless data loggers

Battery operation

Battery operation

secure communication

Secure communication

reliable communication

Reliable communication

Data Loggers typically record sensor data over a given time or location at a fairly low sample rate. They are often used to record harsh environmental conditions, so they must be highly reliable, even in inhospitable locations. Radiocrafts modules combine both robust design and low power consumption, making them ideal for data logging applications. The Ultra-Narrowband platforms, RC12xx and RC17xx are ideal for data-loggers, with their robustness in noisy environment. The security of the radio signal is ensured with AES-128 encryption available in the Radiocrafts modules. Low power is supported by an application that utilize the sleep mode available in the Radiocrafts module to its maximum.

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Radiocrafts Products Benefits

proven solutions

Proven Solutions

Radiocrafts modules are used in municipal networking in many places. For example, European gas and water meters use hundreds of thousands of Wireless M-Bus nodes. Similar quantities of TinyMesh nodes have proven greatly successful in India. These applications and many others, confirm both the quality and cost-effectiveness of Radiocrafts RF modules for challenging applications in significant volumes, making Radiocrafts a low risk solution.

 

fast development

Fast development

An RF module from Radiocrafts does not need programming or any RF hardware design. The module is configurable, which means that you send a number of commands to configure the module at power up, and then it is ready. No need for firmware development. Also, all filtering and matching of the RF is done inside the module: just add a 50ohm antenna and your solution is ready to go.

 

mesh star options

Mesh and Star Options

We offer both mesh and star configurations – both have advantages and disadvantages. Star networks require less power and complexity; our most popular industrial star network uses Wireless M-Bus. Alternatively, mesh networks can achieve long range using multi hops, and they can be dynamically configured. Our low-cost mesh network solution uses TinyMesh.

 

long range

Long range

Long range can be achieved in multiple ways; each way has advantages and disadvantages. The factors with the most impact are:

High Output Power: Transmit at high signal strength increase range, but limits the battery time and must be within regulatory limits.

High Sensitivity: High receiver sensitivity is typically achieved with low data-rate. The low data-rate allows for Ultra-Narrowband receivers and advanced modulations modulation techniques used by the low-level protocols.

Low Carrier Frequency: A lower frequency gives longer range and better ability to penetrate objects.

High Antenna Gain: The antenna gain makes a large impact on the transmitted/received signal strength. The more directional the antenna is, the higher is the gain.

Radiocrafts has a portfolio of long-range solutions. For example, the longest range is from our high-power, 169 MHz Wireless M-Bus module – the RC1701VHP – where up to 10 kilometres is achieved in real-life urban environments.

Battery operationBattery operation

If it’s not easy to bring cables to sensors, then battery operation is the way to go. Radiocrafts RF modules are low power and can be put into sleep mode by an efficient wireless protocol. A star protocol, such as Wireless M-Bus or RC232, is typically most power efficient, as the node can be put to sleep for long times, whereas a node in a mesh network needs to be always active.

 

predictable latency

Predictable latency

Transparent static protocols (e.g., RC232 or Wireless M-Bus) have deterministic latency within their requirements that is important in control applications. Wireless M-Bus has commands built-in to read the sensors and send commands back. RC232 does not have its own application layer, so the customer has the freedom to make an efficient implementation. The latency in a mesh network will depend on the routing in the network and, as this is dynamic in a true mesh, then the latency will vary.

 

secure communication

Secure communication

Radiocrafts modules have built-in AES-128 encryption to ensure the integrity of the data. AES-128 is the industry standard encryption algorithm that is approved by the NSA for secure transactions. The modules are also noise resilient due to their narrow band receiver and outstanding out-of-band noise suppression. This makes them ideal for applications such as alarm systems or industrial controls, which do not need high bandwidth data communications.

 

reliable communication

Reliable communication

To achieve reliable wireless data logging communications in typical industrial applications, you need ample transmission power, the ability to penetrate common objects, and high sensitivity. Radiocrafts Ultra Narrowband devices deliver long-range RF combined with high noise resilience.

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