In building sensor networks there are 2 main design patterns using either wired or wireless networks
Sensors connect to a central computer that handles all of the information.
- Only one computer to program
- Data is gathered all in one place
- Wireless: devices can sleep to save power when between gathering samples.
- Wireless: cheaper transmitters.
- If the computer crashes, no data can be gathered.
- Wired: lots of wires, and the signal gets degraded the longer the cable is.
- Wireless: All the sensors have to be in range of the base station
- Each sensors has it's own microcomputer that logs the data
- Data can be stored until it can be shared
- Less wires
- Network can withstand multiple device failures
- Harder to program
- More hardware, More expensive
- Wireless: modules can't sleep because they have to relay the messages of others.
I plan on building a network that combines the strengths of both systems. Sensors in a house are often clustered together. I plan on building a set of sensor hubs that are placed through out the house and are interconnected building a mesh network. Each hub can read multiple sensors and relay this data to it's neighbors. passing along messages until it reaches an output point.