2016 Volume 25 Issue 3 Pages 86-95
The monitoring node is one of the most important system components in the remote and automatic measurement of environmental information. Simplicity, flexibility, and affordability are critical in agricultural applications. The objective of this study was to design and develop a low-cost and robust remote environmental monitoring node based on a microcontroller board with a wireless communication module and an over-the-air (OTA) update function for flexible node management. The monitoring system consists of a cloud-based global management subsystem and a local management subsystem for each monitoring node. The node was developed using the Particle Core, reprogrammable Wi-Fi development kit, which fulfills the requirements for monitoring node mentioned above. The performance evaluation of the stability and the OTA update function were conducted under two network conditions: (1) high-speed network and (2) regular mobile 3G-network as actual application setup. The stability and availability test observed over 95% of the “timely measurements”, a completed measurement within the specified time interval, 99.86% for the condition 1 under high-quality network, and 95.02% for the condition 2. The OTA firmware update process was completed in approximately 60 s. We concluded that the developed environmental monitoring node based on a low-cost microcontroller having internal Wi-Fi module and OTA update function has the potential to increase the simplicity, flexibility, and affordability of remote environmental monitoring node in agricultural applications.