Research Initiated in Wireless Sensor Networks
Three postgraduate students at ITU have initiated research in Sensor Networks in Technology and Research in Emerging Networks (TRENDS) lab as part of their MS and PhD theses requirements. Under the supervision of ITU faculty member Dr. Adnan Noor Mian, two MS students; Mohammed Umer Zahid and Ali Imran, are working on applied research on sensors while PhD student Raees Khan is involved in developing protocols.
Umer Zahid’s research is geared towards developing a Smart Parking system wherein a mechanism could be developed to place sensors in parking lots which will be able to detect which lots have been filled and thereby allow for an efficient guiding system to be installed in parking lots. The most significant hurdle for Zahid in this project is to evolve a cost-effective system for this project using cheap, off-the-shelf sensors and microcontroller board such as Arduino board. It is also necessary that this system be energy-efficient and so Zahid is working to minimize the energy consumption of the system and looking to solve such problems as how to prolong the battery life of sensors so that they could run for years.
Ali Imran is working to develop the coexistence of Wireless LAN and sensor network protocols. Wireless LAN technology works in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, which requires no license for usage. Most wireless technologies such as Bluetooth networks, wireless mouse, wireless LANs, etc. operates in this band. However, due to interference in the band, data loss often takes place. Imran’s research is to focus on ensuring that these different sensor network protocols work in harmony within the band; with minimal interference and data loss. This research is being done in collaboration with the software house Qairus.
Raees Khan is doing his PhD in developing transport layer protocols. Reliability in transport networks is centred on source to destination routing through multi-hop transmission. In end-to-end reliability systems, the destination sends back acknowledgement of the receipt of data to the source; however, in these systems, intermediate nodes are not concerned with reliability. Khan’s research is focussed on implementing protocols to develop hop-by-hop reliability wherein intermediate nodes will also be involved in ensuring data reliability.