Digital Interface for Intelligent Sensors

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper


Digital Interface for Intelligent Sensors was a project whose goal was to create a digital network interface that enabled easy distribution of data from different types of digital sensors to a central computer. The purpose was to replace the already existing analogue data collection system, in order to benefit from the advantages of digital communication. This demanded a software protocol that satisfyingly would be implementable on a microcontroller. Along with software implementation the specific objective was to design, construct and build an intelligent hardware sensor device. This device was supposed to measure temperature, humidity, wind direction and wind speed by collecting information from adequate digital transducers.

The project involved researches about bus-protocols as well as practically design and build circuits. A lot of software programming was made during the project, to get the device to work as expected. During research the Modbus-protocol was found to be the best option for our specific software needs. As for the hardware part, the core of the sensor device was based on an ATmega328 microcontroller. The ATmega328 proved to be a suitable hardware platform for implementing both the Modbus-protocol and the necessary code required to extract information from the transducers. By linking a computer to the system, working as a master, weather data from the device were able to be logged.

The device was successfully installed on the roof at Ångströmslaboratoriet, house 2. The complete system enables other digital, Modbus implemented, devices to connect in order to communicate with the central computer. Having many devices can lead to rather complex systems. The system created in this project keeps track on all the installed devices using addresses, making a complex system easy to manage.

The project also involved a brief collaboration with another group constructing a different digital measuring device. This device was able to connect to the system using the same Modbus-protocol and thereby communicating with the central computer.

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