Underwater Sensor Hubs
The goal for this area of the project is to develop an underwater sensor network that can communicate to the surface buoy. The aim is to produce a cost-effective solution utilising pre-existing technologies, which are rapidly scalable and consume minimal power; whilst providing a simple end-user experience.
The UQ team have implemented the “Arduino” technology in response to these Aims. “Arduino” is a pre-existing electronic prototyping platform with the Tiny Operating System (TinyOS) “ported” to it for a simple end-user experience. (for more information see Low Cost Prototyping System for Sensor Networks)
There are two main components to the underwater project: the Central (Main) Hub and the Slave Hub. The Slave Hub essentially creates “smart” sensors from “dumb” sensors. To do this, it takes analog sensors and other sensors which do not have their own recording circuitry and creates an interface to the SALS network. The Main Hub attaches to the Slave Hubs and handles the communication and sensor inference to the SALS buoy.
Current revision of the project utilises CAN-bus for the communication between the surface buoy and underwater components. Research has been completed on the technology required for underwater wireless communications which are to be implemented in the next stage of the project.