Wirepas Mesh

Thingsee with Wirepas Mesh

Thingsee has been using Wirepas Mesh already some years in various projects and products. We have found that the Wirepas is one of the most robust and easiest IoT local network / mesh technologies that help us to scale fast and make such products and network configurations that wouldn’t be otherwise possible.

We use two specific branches from the Wirepas Mesh

  • Wirepas 3.4 version for the original products
  • Wirepas 5.0 version as a default for the new products and projects. Note that the new products are made also with Wirepas 3.4 to make them compatible with the existing networks. So it really doesn’t matter whether you are a 3.4 or 5.0 customer; you can keep using any of our sensors in your network.

How Wirepas works?

Radio

Wirepas operates unlicensed frequencies like 2.4GHz, 865MHz, 868MHz, 870Mhz and 915MHz. Thingsee products are using Nordic nRF52-series Bluetooth-chips and therefore our Wirepas products are using the 2.4GHz radio.

Synchronized time-scheduled slotted operation enables collision-free transmissions, and Wirepas Mesh is capable to operate in multiple frequency channels (40 channels at 2.4GHz licensed exempt band). Combined time-division and multiple access (TDMA) and Frequency division multiple access (FDMA) operation for efficient spectrum usage. Each router can choose a channel dynamically and independently, so one network can use all 40 channels parallel. In case one router is interfered by other radio devices, the router dynamically changes the channel without impacting other devices in the network.

Routing

Wirepas Mesh is a low-power wireless connectivity protocol. It is based on mesh network architecture which means that all the nodes in the network are homogenous and make all the decisions locally according to the local radio environment. Routing is based on routing cost and there is no routing tables stored in the network, which enables infinite network size.

A synchronized time-scheduled slotted operation where neighboring nodes receive and transmit only very limited time when other nodes may transmit data to them, and a node may transmit to other nodes. The rest of the time is spent in a low power sleep mode. All nodes are capable of routing.

Roles

  • Sink: In case the network has gateways the node role of the gateway is a sink.
  • Autorole: The network decides automatically between a router and non-router role. This is useful in very dense installations.
  • Router: A node is set as a router, so that it routes data from other nodes.
  • Non-router: A node is set as a non-router, so that it doesn’t route any other traffic. All it will do is to send its own data to the network. Note that in this role the node doesn’t extend network coverage.
  • Non-router long sleep: Specific role for asset tracking purposes, in where the node can connect and disconnect from the network in intervals or ad-hoc.

Operation modes

  • Low energy mode: is designed to optimize the battery life of the network. Router power consumption is as low as 0.025mA and non-router connected device 0.012mA
  • Low latency mode: is designed to optimize latencies and throughput of a network. A gateway can receive 150 packets per second in low latency mode and the latencies are below 20ms per hop. Note that in this mode the devices typically require external power, as the battery-life is only a fraction compared to low energy mode.

Tools

Network monitoring tool

Wirepas provides Wirepas Network Tool (WNT) to visualize the network structure and all network parameters. This tool is optional to use, and the same data and information can be controlled and collected through the Wirepas network diagnostics data.

Over the Air Software update

Wirepas includes Over the Air Programming (OTAP) interface and tools.

Some use-cases that fit Wirepas perfectly

Low powered retro-fitted sensor network

This is the main scenario of how the Thingsee uses Wirepas Mesh. Just install the sensors and the Wirepas Mesh is created within your building or your area. There is no need to install any other hardware or repeaters as the network comes with the sensors.

Actors and controls

As Wirepas Mesh has two-way communication it is possible to create actors and controllers that are performing some functions based on the commands from the cloud. We can start blinking the LED on a device due to some event in the cloud, or we can do even more complicated two-way communication products. See projects at main page

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