ANR, 2006-2009

Virtual Prototyping and Construction of Sensor Networks (hardware, software, ...)


Sensor networks have been researched and deployed for decades already; their wireless extension, however, has witnessed a tremendous upsurge in recent years. This is mainly attributed to the unprecedented operating conditions of wireless sensor networks (WSNs), i.e.

  • a potentially enormous amount of sensor nodes,
  • reliably operating under stringent energy constraints.

WSNs allow for an untethered sensing of the environment. It is anticipated that within a few years, sensors will be deployed in a variety of scenarios, ranging from environmental monitoring to health care, from the public to the private sector, etc. They will be battery-driven and deployed in great numbers in an ad hoc fashion, requiring communication protocols and embedded system components to run in an utmost energy efficient manner.

Prior to large-scale deployment, however, a gamut of problems has to be solved which relates to various issues, such as the extraction of application scenarios, design of suitable software and hardware architectures, development of communication and organisation protocols, validation and first steps of prototyping, etc.


The objective of this project is to:

  • explore new event-driven and asynchronous software and hardware architectures, tailored to extremely low power consumptions;
  • propose new communication and organisation protocols, which are optimised in terms of energy consumption and robustness;
  • find new application protocols that are designed for data fusion and aggregation;
  • study new network structures which facilitate auto-configuration and auto-organisation;
  • provide tools of modelling and validation, which also take into account the physical environment and the interaction thereof with the wireless sensor nodes;
  • validate the developed concepts, protocols and mechanisms by means of a testbed.

It is the aim of this consortium to propose an integrated industrial and applicative solution in the emerging area of wireless sensor networks. We wish to knowledgably influence the design of potentially to-be-standardised communication protocols for energy-constrained wireless sensor networks, which, we believe, form the basis of ambient data processing and communication systems.

To achieve these goals, a healthy mix of industry and academia participates in this project. The academic partners have a strong track record in sensor and embedded communication systems and are constituted of the research centres LSR-IMAG, VERIMAG and TIMA in Grenoble and the laboratory ISIC of the INSA of Lyon. The industrial partners are comprised of France Telecom R&D, which has a leading expertise in ambient systems and wireless sensor network design, and CORONIS Systems, which are a European leader in sensor networks with invaluable real-world roll-out experiences.


 VERIMAG People involved