Energy-autonomous wireless sensor networks

A photo of hans stretching out a stretchy material with eletronics on its surface.

Sensors are everywhere and provide vital data – but how do we provide enough power for them? VTT offers a true holistic approach to tackle these challenges, enabling the Internet of Things vision of sensors anywhere. 

Key facts

IoT connectivity requires energy-efficient sensor networks. 

VTT offers optimal solutions based on unique expertise on sensors and ultra-low power electronics. 

We develop sensor and network technology for industrial connectivity, wearables, electronics and more.

Human beings interact with their environment through their senses. Likewise, electronic systems interact with their environment via sensors, which convert the real world to the digital world. Huge advances in microsystem technologies, in terms of data processing capabilities and decreasing power consumption and size, have opened unprecedented application opportunities for embedded sensor systems. Industry 4.0 is about gathering and analysing data – provided by the vast sensor networks.  

IoT envisions sensors everywhere – but how do we power a sea of sensor networks?

The sea of embedded wireless sensor networks has created new challenges, such as power consumption on the system level, as well as data transmission capacity limitation from sensor nodes to cloud services. VTT offers a true holistic approach to tackle these challenges. This leads to the IoT vision of sensors anywhere.

VTT offers an integrated approach to IoT sensor networks

IoT sensor networks must be easy to install and maintain. Wireless sensor nodes fulfil these requirements – but how to secure a long battery lifetime? There are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions but utilising a holistic approach to energy management at component, system and application levels leads to systems that are highly optimised for each use case. 

IoT sensor network designer must consider the sensor, its read-out electronics, edge computing and the radio together, as a system, optimised for the application needs. Starting from the sensor development and combining it with signal processing hardware and software that has energy efficient cloud connectivity is what serves the application requirements the best. The holistic approach focusing on energy efficiency leads also to more sustainable and cost-efficient solutions, including materials savings and maintenance cost savings.  

An optimised system can include custom Micro-electromechanical (MEMS) sensors, integrated readout and signal processing electronics as application specific, custom-designed integrated circuit (ASIC), and the choosing of the right IoT radio protocol, such as Lora, NB-IoT and Bluetooth. VTT provides all these components, as well as multiple powering options, from battery operation to wireless charging and solar energy harvesting. In some cases, even batteryless operation with RFID is possible.

Examples of embedded system platforms include VTT LoRa Node and VTT FlexNode.

Share