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Hazard Detection by Wireless Sensor Networks

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research Funds Computer Science Project at Freie Universität Berlin with 1.3 Million Euros

№ 063/2012 from Mar 22, 2012

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is providing funds of 1.3 million euros for a project at Freie Universität Berlin to study wireless sensor networks with independent monitoring functions. The scientists working at the Institute of Computer Science aim to develop systems in which sensor nodes in the network can classify security events as such without human intervention. The potential hazards include dangerous developments on structures such as bridges, worrying changes in forest fire and earthquake zones, or trespassing in protected areas. The project entitled "Validation of the innovation potential of distributed event detection in wireless sensor networks" (VIVE) runs until early 2015. The principal investigator is the computer scientist Prof. Dr. Jochen Schiller from Freie Universität Berlin.

There is great need for environmental monitoring and security-related areas. While monitoring systems with security guards and cameras ensure largely uninterrupted control, they are often too expensive or may be rejected by the population. In addition, there are always ways to evade or circumvent security guards or cameras due to blind spots or manipulation. So far, wireless sensor networks have been used to transmit large amounts of data to a central processor, which in turn evaluates the raw data and triggers necessary actions. Such networks have the disadvantage of being slow and unreliable.

In the VIVE project, groups of sensor nodes share information in a cooperative way, which allows the evaluation of events autonomously within the network. VIVE investigates new applications that would benefit by an in-network evaluation of predefined events. Autonomously and with little loss of time, for example, it could be determined whether bridges are swinging in dangerous frequencies or if, during rehabilitation in patients and athletes, damaging movements are occurring.

The project is being funded within the framework of the BMBF VIP (Validation of the Innovation Potential of Scientific Research) funding line. It is part of the German Federal Government's High-Tech Strategy for Germany.

Further Information

Norman Dziengel, Institute of Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-75138, Email: dziengel@inf.fu-berlin.de