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News - January 2015

16.01.2015 - RELYonIT makes Smart Parking and Building Monitoring Robust in Harsh Environments

The Internet of Things is increasingly used for safety-critical applications where loss or delay of data as well as failures may result in harm to humans or huge costs. The central aim of the EU-funded RELYonIT project is therefore to provide solutions that allow to provide performance guarantees, thereby enabling a large number of interesting applications and business cases.

One specific challenge therein is the impact of the environment on the embedded computing devices and networks as they are often exposed to large temperature variations from -30 to +80 degrees Celsius or interference from other, more powerful wireless technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, or microwave ovens.

RELYonIT provides novel environment models, environment-aware protocols, and configuration mechanisms that allow to provide guaranteed performance despite such environmental impact. The project consortium has recently performed two real-world experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of these mechanisms, showing that the impact of temperature on communication performance can be mitigated and systems can be configured to meet user-defined battery lifetimes.

The experiments implement two use cases provided by two Spanish industry partners WorldSensing and ACCIONA. The WorldSensing use case is about monitoring the occupancy of parking spots with wireless sensors embedded into the tarmac, where drivers are given hints via a smartphone application where the closest parking spot is located. This can substantially reduce search time and thereby also traffic and pollution in large cities. The RELYonIT consortium has shown that the use of project results improves the predictability of battery lifetime of the sensors despite environmental influences such as interference from dense wireless infrastructures in urban areas.

The ACCIONA use cases is about monitoring critical infrastructures in extreme climates, where buildings and materials can be exposed to extreme temperature and humidity conditions (e.g., in desert locations such as Dubai) which must not compromise the structural integrity of the buildings. The RELYonIT consortium has deployed a prototype of a wireless building monitoring system in a test facility close to Madrid, where the temperature variations due to direct sunshine had a severe impact on the reliability of wireless communication. Using project results the impact of temperature on wireless communication could be fully compensated.

Demonstration Environment for the ACCIONA Use Case.
Demonstration Environment for the WorldSensing Use Case.