OTA updates for smart sensors

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

OTA is now used widely within the cellular networks, allowing software updates and new services to be deployed easily. However the same technology has yet to be ported to wireless sensor networks.

Libelium’s CTO, David Gascón, says that the new OTA feature, when combined with energy harvesting techniques such as battery charging via solar cells, will help keep maintenance costs low and encourage larger networks.

The technology will allow operators to target single nodes or multiple nodes within a network, and will work with both direct and multihop-access. In the case of 802.15.4 networks the nodes to be upgraded can be accessed directly by the gateway, with ZigBee it is usual that a series of nodes must forward packets sent by the gateway.

Two levels of security are offered; encryption using the AES-128 algorithm, and a pass key that must be authenticated in each node before OTA starts. For wireless sensor networks implemented with Waspmote, programs sent are stored in a 2GB SD card enabling thousands of different software versions to be stored and managed on a single mote. The management OTA application runs in Windows, MacOS and Linux and it is freely available for clients of the Waspmote platform.

Libelium is launching a special training course at their headquarters in Zaragoza, Spain, in June for those interested in learning the OTA capabilities quickly. 
The first public demonstration of Libelium OTA will be performed from 6th-8th June 2011 on booth #500 at the Sensors Expo & Conference in Rosemont, IL, USA. 

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