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A Distributed Sensor Network (DSN) employing a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B microprocessor and a custom-designed and factory-manufactured multi-purpose Printed Circuit Board for your next sensing project
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1  Charles Sturt University
Academic Editor: Stefano Mariani


This paper presents a detailed design of an inexpensive, simple, and scalable Distributed Sensor Network (DSN). Each sensor’s hardware consists of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B microprocessor, a specifically designed and factory-made Printed Circuit Board (PCB), an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Hat based on a High Capacity Lithium Polymer battery (LiPo), Power over Ethernet Splitter allowing for 5V power via microUSB (from a PoE injector), a GPS receiver, a LoRaWAN module, control push buttons, OLED screen, a Four-wire I2C connector, a 40-pin Raspberry Pi connector, a status LED, and five GPIO connectors configured for Signal, Voltage, Ground (SVG). Each sensor is built to capture GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth signals and sends this information to a network controller implementing a LoRaWAN gateway. Each sensor’s software is developed so all applications run on top of a Linux operating system. The layer above it includes system daemon applications, such as Air-mon, HCI tools, GPSd, and networking support. An SQLite database sits on top of the daemon applications and records the captured information. Information from each sensor forming the DSN that is received by the LoRaWAN gateway is communicated to the user via a web-server. The web-server is implemented by a custom Python script. A series of tests were carried out to ensure the DSN was functioning as expected. Based on the successful outcome of these tests, the DSN was deployed in a research project. The total cost to build a sensor, including the cost of the Raspberry Pi, was less than $160 (Australian). The inclusion of a LoRaWAN module, control push buttons, OLED screen, and status LED made accessing and controlling the DSN remotely a simple process. The scalability of the sensor's PCB, which has a Four-wire I2C connector, makes the device capable of performing numerous types of sensing and control functions.

Keywords: Distributed Sensor Network; Raspberry Pi; Printed Circuit Board; LoRaWAN gateway; Inter-Integrated Circuit