Crowd Data Sourcing and Wireless Sensor Networks
Crowdsourcing may sound like something you’re not familiar with, however I’m sure you all heard of this kind of service. In crowdsourcing millions of devices are used to obtain and share featured services. A simple example of such a service is the 4040 sms number of VTM, where each citizen can offer news to the television company, which in turn can decide to broadcast it or not. But why should crowdsourcing be limited to human input?
After the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, people had few or no tools to measure local radiation levels themselves. Developers at Libelium (the manufacturer of the hardware we use for our thesis) realized this and quickly responded to it by producing a low cost radiation sensor shield. The idea is simple; each node measures the number of counts per minute detected by the installed Geiger tube and sends this value via ZigBee or GPRS to the control point.
A bunch of boards were shipped freely to Japan to give citizens the opportunity to monitor radiation levels themselves instead of having to rely on the local authorities and avoiding another disaster like the Chernobyl cover-up by the former Soviet union. With the Radiation Sensor Boards people in Japan will be able to measure levels of radiation in their everyday life after the Fukushima disaster. This Radiation Sensor Board is fully compatible with the hardware we use so eventually we could also measure radiation levels at Group T.
Also the backbone structure of the initial network is comparable with our design for the Group T campus. The prevention and control radiation WSN at Fukushima consists of several dozens of sensor devices, deployed in the surroundings of the nuclear power plant and even reaching the closest cities. Each node takes the value of its Geiger tube and is sent to the gateway using the ZigBee radio on the Waspmote. Then the gateway stores the information in an Internet database.
Thanks to crowd data sharing the governments are no longer the only source of information of radiation levels around a nuclear plant. Libelium sensor boards can be equipped with a Wifi module, establishing a global sensor network for collecting and sharing radiation measurements, which could be displayed as datapoints on a Google map.
Crowdsourcing and crowd data sharing show how individual devices or publicly open parts of wireless sensor networks can be used to create a better and safer world.
Wireless Sensor Networks to Control Radiation Levels – April 19th, 2011 - David Gascón, Marcos Yarza – http://www.libelium.com/wireless_sensor_networks_to_control_radiation_levels_geiger_counters/
Detecting Radiation Levels in Fukushima: an example of crowdsourcing - February 22nd, 2013 - Alberto Bielsa – http://www.libelium.com/fukushima_crowdsourcing_radiation_social_project/