The systems integration goal of COINS is to enable and realize three applications: Personal, Community-based, and Mobile Environmental Monitoring. These three applications, shown below, require integration of sensors, energy scavengers, electronics, wireless communication, and mobility. Realization of these applications will require novel integration of nanodevices into nanosystems.
As a first step toward realizing the three environmental monitoring applications, the COINS system integration team has designed, built and is currently testing the first stand-alone COINS Sensing System. This first generation COINS Sensing System has been fabricated with current electronic components to measure and control multiple types of sensing and energy scavenging devices and communicates wirelessly. It can interrogate sensors with a wide range of impedances via multiple techniques, accepts multiple types of energy scavenging devices and communicates with other COINS and external devices, including the DASH crawler.
The COINS Sensing System is capable of measuring COINS sensors using a variety of methods, including resistance, current versus gate voltage, and capacitance measurements. It is equipped with two heater channels, one for on-chip heating and another for auxiliary purposes. The on-chip heater can either be tied to analog ground or to the gate electrode input. This allows on-chip embedded heaters to act as both a heater and a back gate. The system also contains a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) humidity and temperature sensor to aid sensors that have temperature or humidity dependent calibration curves.
COINS has continued to build its systems integration infrastructure. The COINS system integration team has fabricated the second generation COINS Sensing System (CSS-G2): a versatile, compact, low-power, stand-alone system capable of interfacing with multiple COINS sensor types and energy scavenging devices. In addition to improving the electronics, the CSS-G2 can now communicate via WiFi in addition to the original Zigbee protocol, has an LCD display, and is packaged in a NEMA box. These new features allow the CSS-G2 to interface directly to smart phones, as well as any other WiFi-enabled device or network, and act as a communication gateway between the COINS robotic crawlers and external devices.
Second Generation COINS Sensing System (CSS-G2) is a stand-alone environmental monitoring system that can communicate wirelessly with smart phones using WiFi and with the COINS Crawlers using Zigbee.