Wireless sensor networks utilizing the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in an ecet curriculum

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Recently our Electrical Engineering Technology Baccalaureate Program at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, was expanded to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) Baccalaureate Program with options in both Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) and Computer Engineering Technology (CMPET). Based upon the TAC of ABET criteria for accrediting engineering technology programs, the ECET program must satisfy the criteria for both EET and CMPET programs. Thus networking concepts need to be included in both program options. In this paper, several laboratory applications utilizing low-rate wireless personal area network (LRPAN) technology are presented. This material can be included within one of several typical courses in EET curriculums (such as a communications or microcontroller course) as well as a networking course within CMPET curriculums. The device used for the laboratory applications is the MaxStream XBee wireless module, since it is compatible with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. It uses a radio transceiver operating in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) RF band at frequencies from 2.400GHz to 2.484GHz. The standard device has a maximum outdoor line-of-sight range of 300 feet and a maximum data throughput of 250kbps with a UART interface. The device is intended to be used in conjunction with the internal RS-232 port found in most microcontrollers and computers for applications in wireless sensor networks and remote data collection. Several laboratory projects utilizing the MaxStream XBee wireless module are presented. The first lab is designed to introduce this module to the students. The objectives include interfacing the module to the computer serial port, using HyperTerminal to communicate with the module, configuring the module through AT commands, and verifying functionality of the module through file transfer. The second lab is designed to introduce remote data acquisition. Students will design a terminal program utilizing LabVIEW, integrate a temperature sensor, and perform remote data collection. The third lab will introduce students to personal area networking (PAN). The objective is the establishment of a wireless sensor network. It will utilize a star network configuration with temperature sensors and the development of LabVIEW software for remotely collecting temperature data and performing statistical analysis on the data. There are several primary objectives for the presentation of these applications within this paper. First, it presents suitable networking material to be included in one or more courses within the EET option of an ECET program as required by ABET. It can also be utilized in a typical networking course within CMPET curriculums. Second, it provides a resource to aid instructors interested in introducing wireless RF technology within their courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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