From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Smartdust is a hypothetical network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, robots, or devices, installed with wireless communications, that can detect anything from light and temperature, to vibrations, etc.
Design and engineering
The devices, or motes, are intended to be the size of a grain of sand, or even a dust particle.
When clustered together, they would automatically create highly flexible, low-power networks with applications ranging from climate control systems to entertainment devices that interact with information appliances.
The smartdust concept was introduced by Kristofer Pister (University of California) in 2001, though similar ideas existed in science fiction before then. A recent review discusses various techniques to take smartdust in sensor networks beyond millimeter dimensions to the micrometre level.
A typical application scenario is scattering a hundred of these sensors around a building or around a hospital to monitor temperature or humidity, track patient movements, or inform of disasters, such as earthquakes. In the military, they can perform as a remote sensor chip to track enemy movements, detect poisonous gas or radioactivity. The ease and low cost of such applications have raised privacy concerns, primarily in science fiction stories.
Beyond such demonstrations lies an emerging world of very large networks that combine motes and portable gear with larger technologies to improve the depth, duration and range of monitoring. The $200 million EarthScope project of the science foundation is erecting 3,000 stations that are to track faint tremors, measure crustal deformation and make three-dimensional maps of the earth's interior from crust to core. Some 2,000 more instruments are to be mobile — wireless and sun- or wind-powered — and 400 devices are to move east in a wave from California across the nation over the course of a decade. The goal is to uncover the secrets of how the continent formed and evolved, revolutionizing the study of volcanoes, fault systems, mineral deposits and earthquakes. Begun in 2003, EarthScope is to be completed by 2008 and run until 2023.
—William J. Broad, A Web of Sensors, Taking Earth's Pulse (New York Times)
Consider also that Smart Dust was derived from an earlier concept called Smart Matter, that was conceived at the Palo Alto Research Center.
- Mesh networking
- Wireless Sensor Network
- Utility fog
External links and references
- ↑ Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter Brett Warneke, Matt Last, Brian Liebowitz, and Kristofer S.J. Pister, Computer, vol. 34, pp. 44-51, 2001
- ↑ Smart dust: nanostructured devices in a grain of sand, Michael J. Sailor and Jamie R. Link, Chemical Communications, vol. 11, p. 1375, 2005
- How stuff works: motes
- "Smart Dust" May Soon Be Watching You
- Open source mote designs and TinyOS operating system from UC Berkeley
- UC Berkeley Smart Dust Project
- Sailor research group at UCSD
- Web of Sensors "In the wilds of the San Jacinto Mountains, along a steep canyon, scientists are turning 30 acres [121,000 m˛] of pines and hardwoods in California into a futuristic vision of environmental study. They are linking up more than 100 tiny sensors, robots, cameras and computers, which are beginning to paint an unusually detailed portrait of this lush world, home to more than 30 rare and endangered species. Much of the instrumentation is wireless. Devices the size of a deck of cards — known as motes, after dust motes..."