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The National Academies
500 5th St NW - KWS 502
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 334-2800
Fax: (202) 334-2139
Phase 4 (2009 Deadline)
Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Using Integrated Secure Wireless Sensor and Vehicular Networks
Hafiz Malik, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Muhammad Tahir, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Pakistani Funding (HEC): $35,997
US Funding (Department of State): $145,608
Project Dates: November 15, 2010 - November 14, 2013 (Extended through April 30, 2014)
Rapid growth in the number of vehicles on the roads is the main source of air pollution in Pakistan’s cities, and the situation is further aggravated by the lack of any plans to limit the number of new vehicle registrations in major metropolitan areas. Any future measures to address air pollution will require accurate data on pollutants, but the current monitoring network made up of a limited number of fixed monitoring stations provides insufficient information. This project addresses limitations of existing solutions by developing an integrated wireless sensor and vehicular network (WSVN). This research should lead to the creation of system architecture for secure and reliable air quality data acquisition, processing, and visualization, which will help in suggesting short- and long-term countermeasures. This joint effort should ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Pakistanis by first quantifying the concentration of airborne pollutants and then suggesting ways of reducing environmental pollution. The solutions developed in this research may also be extended for use in environmental and soil monitoring, water quality assessment, indoor air-quality monitoring for industrial applications, and video surveillance. Pakistani university students should also benefit from the development of new course content focused on wireless networks and information security as research outcomes from the project are integrated into undergraduate and graduate curricula. Besides pursuing academic and research careers, such students would also be well prepared for careers in environmental monitoring and analysis.
During the last year, focus of the US team’s research was development, testing and evaluation of secure communication and resource optimization algorithms. To date they have developed, tested, and evaluated our algorithms on three types of sensor nodes, (a) commercial sensor nodes such as MicaZ etc., (b) sensor nodes acquired from Dr. Tahir’s Lab, and (c) sensor nodes developed at the UM-Dearborn.
At UM-Dearborn, four undergraduate students group have been working on their sensor design projects related to this project. At graduate level, Mr. Tuo Xiang and Mr. Haoyu Li completed their MS projects while working on Near Field Communications -- Defense Against Malware. Mr. Xiang used human gesture motion recognition for secure NFC. He developed a prototype using the Google Nexus Smartphone. Two graduate students are working on developing a “Test bed for Air Pollution Monitoring using Wireless Sensor Networks”. An undergraduate group of students is currently working on different aspects of the project. An M.S. student Ms. Arfa Dilawari has completed her thesis related to this project. She has developed optimization techniques for improved communication network performance by introducing new dimension to the sensor node design. In particular, she has proposed optimal data flow splitting for sensor nodes with multiple RF interfaces. Her work has resulted in two conference publications in IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications and is currently being extended for journal publication. In addition to the above mentioned human resource development, the Pakistani team has used their expertise in the development of an embedded systems laboratory, which is funded by Mentor Graphics Pakistan and grant of Rs. 3.8 Million has been sanctioned. The students will be taught to develop small size embedded platforms and they will learn the development process of software, firmware and hardware and will be exposed to the use of different debugging, programming and testing tools as well.
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2011 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
During 2011, Dr. Malik and two junior colleagues at the University of Michigan—Dearborn, PhD candidate Mr. Walid M. El Zaghir and Ms. Qurat-ul-Ain Minhas (a visiting scholar from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad), focused on developing secure sensor network communication protocols wireless communications between static and on-board sensor units to be deployed in the proposed air quality monitoring system. By the end of March 2012 they had successfully demonstrated the transmission of environmental data using solar-powered wireless sensor nodes. They have also tested an analytical model for the secure transmission of data from vehicle-based sensors to roadside monitoring bases. Dr. Tahir and his team at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore have been working on other technical aspects of the project. They have designed a resource controller to manage energy consumption and data transmission by sensors running on solar-powered batteries. In addition, in the first quarter of 2012 they have developed a hardware test-bed made up of five sensor nodes and have implemented a simple communication protocol for data transmission from the sensor nodes to the base station. They have successfully transmitted temperature data from the sensor nodes to the base station and have developed a simple graphical user interface for real time sensor data visualization. Recently the Lahore researchers had a paper accepted for presentation at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference.
Linkages have been established with researchers at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and at SUPARCO (the National Space Agency of Pakistan, which is also involved in environmental monitoring) to help move the project forward. The researchers on both sides are planning further work in the coming months to evaluate their secure data delivery protocols, study ways of thwarting possible hacking attacks against their nodes, and calibrate the gas sensors developed as part of their system.
2012 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
The U.S. research team used the MATLAB software package to conduct physical layer simulation of their wireless sensor network. They have also acquired a commercial grade environmental monitoring system, the eKoTM Pro Series System, to test their data integrity verification algorithm and to calibrate and evaluate the sensor board developed at UET. In Pakistan, the team installed and successfully tested CO, NO2, and temperature sensors on their sensor boards. Their tests have shown that the communications link performs well indoors at ranges of up to 100 feet, so now they will perform the tests outdoors as well. During next three to six months, the U.S. team will evaluate performance of secure data communication protocols for dynamic ad-hoc wireless networks using the new eKo system and develop algorithms for sensor data integrity verification. The Pakistani team will develop and evaluate protocols for efficient data delivery from sensor (static) nodes to mobile nodes, and will complete sensor calibration and node packaging.
2013 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
During the last quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013, research and development at the University of Michigan – Dearborn focused on five main activities: 1) Hardware development for solar energy harvesting and data acquisition using vehicular communication. Using sensor nodes from Dr. Tahir’s lab in UET Lahore, Pakistan, the US team designed and tested hardware for solar energy harvesting; 2) Design and development of hardware for sensor node realization and data visualization: developed hardware for rapid gas sensor node realization capable of monitoring up to five air pollutants and a graphical user interface (GUI) visualization of instantaneous as well as long-term air quality data trends; 3) Developed algorithms for sensing-enabled data security and verification: developed efficient algorithms based on sensing-centered data integrity verification; 4) Study of gas sensor nodes: completed the study of sensor nodes received from Dr. Tahir’s Lab; 5) Gas sensor calibration in collaboration with SUPARCO (National Space Agency of Pakistan) and acquisition of four sensor nodes from counterpart’s lab.
The Pakistani side of the project focused on developing and deploying multiple sensor nodes. They developed and tested a batch of twenty sensor nodes and are currently developing a suitable packaging case to start the next phase of deployment and have provided four nodes to the US counterpart for testing purpose. Simple data transfer protocols and graphical user interface for data visualization were implemented including developing a project website, which will host the details of the developed tools as well as serve as the source of online sensor data obtained from our sensor nodes.
This project was one of seven selected for presentation at the First Pakistan-US Science & Technology Symposium on technology transfer and commercialization held in Islamabad on January 31-February 1, 2013. Both PIs jointly presented their project and gave a real-time demonstration of their model.