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Wireless Sensors and Instruments: Networks, Design, and Applications

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Wireless Sensors and Instruments explains the underlying principles of wireless instruments, which incorporate recent communications technology in instruments and instrumentation systems. This book extensively covers software support at the stand-alone instrument and network levels and includes numerous examples from industrial applications, research, and development. The text focuses on three types of wireless instruments, including wireless sensors owned by manufacturing companies and in-service devices used as wireless instruments. With this new technology emerging in diverse areas of application, this reference provides up-to-date information for industrial and control engineers.

The evolutionary tree representing the growth of instruments and instrumentation technology is marked by a major fork. One branch is representing stand-alone instruments fulfilling the tasks of the requirements of dedicated measurements. Another branch is represented by instruments that can be networked to cooperatively work with many others to measure the variables of complex systems. Neither of these branches is new. What is new is that the networking of instruments can be done without the need for physical hard-wired connections. Wireless connectivity and networkability opens up many possibilities of research, development, and applications that we could not even dream of in the near past. Instruments can now be networked by new and novel techniques while they are on the move in their individual environments performing their tasks.

Many of us are very familiar with a number of wireless devices ranging from mobile and cordless telephones, pagers, garage door openers, remote controllers, home entertainment equipment controllers, and so on. The proliferation of wireless systems in consumer products and industrial applications is so fast that a progressive involvement in technology development is vital for many governments and industrial establishments to maintain competitiveness. This book will be helpful to highlight the expansion of wireless systems in instrumentation and measurements.

Instrumentation requires a broad knowledge involving a diverse range of disciplines, such as measurement science, design and construction of electronic circuits, understanding of IC technology, appreciation of theory and practice of wireless communication systems, networks, protocols, and standards. This book is specifically written to provide sufficient knowledge to enable the readers to understand the underlying principles in wireless instrumentation and networks. Particular emphasis is given to the wireless communication systems since it is an important area of science and technology that is expanding very rapidly thus impacting all aspects of our daily lives. It is also one of the most promising areas of research and development.

Wireless communication technologies have become very popular and there are hundreds of wireless equipment manufacturers and perhaps as many standards. Understanding the benefits and shortfalls of each equipment and associated standards can make the selection and implementation easier. In this respect this book provides guidance to state-of-art of wireless technology as it offers many benefits in measurement applications. Some of the benefits can be lowering the wiring costs, simplifying data transfer, extending the distance of communication, enabling remote monitoring, and providing flexibility in the networking of the devices.

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