Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel wireless sensor node (SN), with impact resistant capability, for launch deployment into closed areas. In disaster areas, gathering disaster area information is crucially important to prevent secondary disasters. However, gathering information is usually associated with the risk of death and/or accident for rescue workers in closed areas. The authors propose the SN for gathering information in dangerous places, inaccessible to rescue workers and robots, by utilizing launch deployment. Design/methodology/approach – Buffer material is essential when designing an impact‐resistant structure. The authors adopted the air cushion as general buffer material when considering the directional characteristics of sensor mounting and wireless communication quality and developed the expression for determining the thickness of the air cushion using the parameters of SN size, mass, air pressure and acceleration. The authors developed a sensor node with impact resistant structure by utilizing the proposed determination method of air cushion thickness. Findings – In the evaluation of impact resistant structure in free fall, launch deployment, the authors verified that the impact resistant structure protected the SN, and the performance of configured devices on the SN. Then, the authors examined the effect of the impact‐resistant structure on wireless communication between SNs. The structure had no effect on electric field intensity, throughput, or packet jitter, which confirmed that the wireless communication capacity was unaffected by the structure. Originality/value – In this paper, a new design method is stated for a sensor node with an impact‐resistant structure by utilizing an air cushion as a general buffer material.
Sensor Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 7, 2012
Keywords: Sensor node; Impact resistant structure; Wireless sensor networks; Air cushion; Disasters; Search and rescue