Both the automotive industry and the NNSA have needs for wireless sensors that are reliable, secure, high speed and able to resist interference from existing systems. This agreement between a DOE laboratory and USCAR to produce a single, agreed-upon platform will broaden the customer base for resulting sensor designs, making it more attractive for developers to design hardware that meets the NNSA requirements.
In the automotive industry, for example, replacing hard-wired body shop robots with wireless-controlled robots would be a prime application area for a new secure, wireless sensor network.
NNSA and its contractors use sensors in their facilities to monitor chemical processes, vibration on large pumps and blowers, and environmental conditions such as shock, vibration, and linear acceleration. The ability to use wireless, rather than wired, sensors, when constructing new facilities or installing new sensors in existing facilities will bring considerable cost savings. NNSA sensors typically exist in gloveboxes or "hot cells," which protect workers from exposure to radioactive or chemical hazards. The cost of running cables in "hot" facilities is more than $2,000 per foot. The electrical/instrument portion of such a facility may have a budget of as much as $400 million; a conservative estimate of the cost savings to use wireless sensors networks has been estimated at $50 million. Existing facilities that are already contaminated would be able to add instrumentation at less than 10% the cost of a wired solution.
"We are pleased to be working with the three U.S. automakers through USCAR to create an industry standard for wireless sensor platforms," said Joe Cordaro, SRNL advisory engineer and former chair of the NNSA Network of Senior Scientists and Engineers, who is serving as SRNL lead for the initiative. "Our common needs will drive a design and frame
|Contact: Angeline French|
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory