April Deployment, day 4

11 April 2016, Mendoza, Argentina.

Today is the big deployment day! We are back at INTA Junin to deploy our sensor network. We have a grand total of 22 motes: 4 long-range prototypes, 2 motes with external antennas, and 16 motes with chip antennas.

We started by running Keoma’s RangeTest SmartMesh SDK application (see source code) to verify how long-range the long-range motes exactly are. It turns out that they really are, as we had no problem connecting the gateway to the first relay mote: over 90% PHY layer packet delivery for a 200m+ link! These motes will be awesome to use, and will save us tons of work to connect the orchard to the gateway 380m away.

We spent quite a bit of time on the gateway. First, we had to put the raspberryPi, its power adaptor, the SmartMesh IP manager and its antenna in a box, which we then had to connect to power/Ethernet, and position on the gateway “pole”.

With that in place, we could place the 3 long-range motes to connect the gateway to the orchard some 380m away. Seconds after installing the motes, we could ping them remotely from the gateway. “It just works” is really what best describes SmartMesh IP. There are a million things to think and worry about with this kind of deployment; but luckily, the low-power wireless network is not one of them.

We didn’t install the motes in the orchard yet, as the INTA team offers to first add small poles in-between peach trees to hang the motes on. More fun for the next days!

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