Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Smart Dust the future of IOT

Smart Dust is combination of tiny wireless sensors of few millimeter in size. These tiny sensors are deployed in the air and they are very hard to detect. The tiny sensors works in the group of hundreds or more to monitor light, magnetism , temperature, vibration, and chemicals. They work on radio frequency identification technology.  Smart Dust is emerging as the future of IOT because the general principle of IOT is to use sensors everywhere to monitor and transmit the data back to the database or computation center for analysis.

The drawback in IOT is that sensors have to be place on different areas and  these sensors are traditional sensors which require external power backup and are big in size. Further it is difficult to place traditional sensors inside pipelines, unreachable places or where secrecy is required.  In future this may not be an issue as smart dust can be used anywhere. The proposal of Smart Dust was introduced in 1992 at DARPA for military applications. The proposal was to build wireless sensor nodes with a volume of one cubic millimeter.

Components of Smart Dust

  • Different type of Sensors
  • Optical Transmission for device to device communication and device to base station communication
  • Signal Processing unit and control circuitry
  • Power source in form of solar cells.
  • TinyOS for working with low power sensors. The alternate to TinyOS is Ardunio which can be used to control hardware. The advantage with TinyOS is that it is designed specially to work low power sensors over the wireless communication. 

A single smart dust is called mote. A single smart dust mote consist of above mentioned components. The challenge with smart dust is to package all the components into one single entity. While advancement in the field of digital circuitry and wireless communication would made smart dust a successful technology in near future in the field of military applications, healthcare, agriculture sector and forest protection. 

Mr. Vijay Gupta
Assistant Professor
Department of Information Technology

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