Wireless sensors

A new wireless sensor system originally developed at the Australian research institute CSIRO will be commercially available early next year.


Tasmanian company The Powercom Group – through its subsidiary Datacall Telemetry – has been chosen by CSIRO to make the new so-called Fleck system, which comprises a number of wireless sensor modules that can gather information in the field and deliver it to a server and then the internet.


The system itself has been designed for outdoor use. Its solar-powered sensor nodes are durable, capable of long-range communications and can easily be added to the network. Almost any kind of sensor can be hooked up to them.


Fleck networks are already in use monitoring salinity in Queensland’s Burdekin irrigation area and stock movements, environmental variables and animal behaviour near Rockhampton, Queensland.


‘Our original test-bed network in Brisbane has been running for more than three years, making it the longest running ad-hoc wireless sensor network in Australia,’ said CSIRO’s Dr Tendulkar.


Invented by Dr Peter Corke, the Fleck sensors have also been measuring temperature, humidity, leaf wetness and wind speed and direction every five minutes since May this year at Mt Springbrook – part of a World Heritage rainforest precinct in south east Queensland. The project is a collaboration between CSIRO, the Queensland EPA and the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society to monitor rainforest ecosystems.