Module Overview

Introduction to Smart Sensors

This module builds on the Interactive Embedded Systems module in semester 2. In this module the emphasis is on wireless integration and embedded software using a low cost MSP430 microcontroller platform . The student is introduced to the basic elements of a smart sensor network.

Module Code

SMSE H2001

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Overview of wireless sensor technology.

Review of Interactive Embedded Systems . Machine to Machine (M2M): typical wireless configurations. Introduction to the Internet of Things; Interfacing to the Internet. Data monitoring. Demand response systems. The radio spectrum. Spectral efficiency. Spectrum analysis.

Microcontroller Considerations

Review of MSP430 architecture. Power modes. Analogue to Digital Conversion: relationship between bit resolution and dynamic range. Piezo sensor application. Power budget calculations. Battery life calculations.

Introduction to sensors

Signal conditioning: Filter types, rms measurements, peak detect, interference considerations, amplification, use of dB and dBm. Comparison between common mode and differential mode measurements. Applications: Movement detection using piezo material. Temperature monitoring, light sensors, power usage sensors. Microwave movement detection. Immunity to electromagnetic interferrence. EMC Standards.

Software Control

Review of flow chart design description.Communication formats. Talking to the comms port. Reading a sensor input. Refresh rate. Power up self tests.

Wireless Sensor Technologies

Types of network configurations: star, ad hoc. Digital modulation. Establishing a radio link. Determining the reliability of the data link. IEEE 802.16.4 (Zigbee), 6LoPAN and sub 1GHz standards such as LoRa/LoRaWAN. Regulatory limits on transmit power. ISM bands. Licenced bands Setting up a radio module. Security considerations. Overview of IPv6 addressing.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100