AquaNet Project
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AquaNet Project > AquaNet Project > At a glance > Challenges


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    An autonomous, low-cost and intelligent WSN for drinking water management, appropriate for city-wide scale has not yet been presented in the existing research literature. WSNs relevant to water management have appeared in the precision agriculture literature and utilize commercial WSN platforms or custom platforms that share software modules with commercial WSN products. The basic problems with utilization of commercial WSN platforms are: a) increased cost, which can easily exceed the 100Euro limit per transceiver, and b) reduced energy and communication efficiency, since the transceivers have not been customized for a specific application and thus, include redundant functionality. Furthermore, the medium access control (MAC) and routing algorithms are largely based on the IEEE 802.15 and Zigbee standards respectively, which are not optimized for operation in interference-limited environments.

    Furthermore, the AquaNet project will develop innovative, low-cost and low-power-consumption sensors.  A survey of the international market reveals that needed sensors are characterized by a high cost and relatively high power consumption (typically above 300€ and 3.5-12W, respectively, depending on the sensing principle) due to the complex signal-conditioning and signal-processing electronic circuits required for their operation.Additionally, the AquaNet partners will offer low-cost micro-powering of each wireless transceiver and sensor.

    The proposed system for water monitoring poses several challenges for data processing. A naïve approach for our system would be to collect each measurement collected by sensor nodes at each epoch at a central site and then perform any required processing of these measurements. However, such an approach is inefficient and certainly not cost-effective. Thus, the emphasis of recent techniques for data processing has relied on pushing computation inside the network, in an attempt to reduce the amount of transmitted data and simplify WSN terminal design.

    Finally, the project will focus on end-user usability and satisfaction. From the early stage of water utilities operation, information technology (IT) and especially geographic information system (GIS) technologies have been incorporated to gather, process, model and visualize data in order to support decision making. The proposed IT platform, which is based on web GIS technologies, not only incorporates state of the art technologies in spatial data management (server based  GIS data warehouses, spatial enabled RDBMS) but it also provides access to the data utilized in this project in all interested stakeholders in a water utility company and also other possible users,  including the public.

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