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Controller integrates wireless sensor communications

02 July, 2009

Millennial Net, the US specialist in wireless sensor networks, has announced a device that combines control and wireless mesh communication capabilities, and can transmit digital and analogue inputs from various types of sensor. The Wi-Controller can integrate local or remote inputs, and can be configured to control on a continuous, on-demand, scheduled or timer basis.

The technology distributes intelligence close to the point of control, resulting in wireless-enabled systems with a hierarchy of remote and local overrides and failsafe modes that will function even if wireless communications are disrupted.

The controller complies with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and uses the 2.4 GHz unlicensed radio band. Its mesh technology is said to overcome the problems of point-to-point radio transmissions. The wireless nodes create self-forming, self-healing wireless mesh networks that need no administration.

These networks ensure robust and responsive bidirectional communications with a latency of 50–100ms. Network routes in complex topologies can form (and self-heal) within seconds, providing 10 to 20 or more hops between nodes.

The retrofittable controller can be used with other wireless devices to monitor and control equipment and is aimed, in particular, at managing energy in buildings. Applications include: variable speed control of fans, pumps, and other motors; control of HVAC valves and dampers; and the activation of annunciators and indicators.

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