IoT 18(14): e1

Research Article

Powering environment monitoring Wireless Sensor Networks: A review of design and operational challenges in Eastern Africa

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.155570,
        author={Maximus Byamukama and Geofrey Bakkabulindi and Bj\o{}rn Pehrson and Mary Nsabagwa and Roseline Akol},
        title={Powering environment monitoring Wireless Sensor Networks: A review of design and operational challenges in Eastern Africa},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Internet of Things},
        volume={4},
        number={14},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={IOT},
        year={2018},
        month={3},
        keywords={Automatic Weather Station, Environment Monitoring, Power Management, Wireless Sensor Networks},
        doi={10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.155570}
    }
    
  • Maximus Byamukama
    Geofrey Bakkabulindi
    Björn Pehrson
    Mary Nsabagwa
    Roseline Akol
    Year: 2018
    Powering environment monitoring Wireless Sensor Networks: A review of design and operational challenges in Eastern Africa
    IOT
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.155570
Maximus Byamukama1,*, Geofrey Bakkabulindi1, Björn Pehrson2, Mary Nsabagwa1, Roseline Akol1
  • 1: Makerere University, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, P.O Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
  • 2: University of Bergen, Geophysical Institute, Postboks 7803, 5020 Bergen
*Contact email: maximus.byamukama@cedat.mak.ac.ug

Abstract

This paper discusses the various design and operational challenges that we have met in providing power to Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) deployed in environment monitoring in East Africa. While such deployments in African environments have a major advantage of abundant sunshine, both in intensity and duration, the same environments still present a number of unique challenges. With the various research initiatives in Africa being quite disjointed, a major problem is the lack of a unified knowledge base that communicates the current challenges and solutions in designing power systems for these WSNs. We implemented a WSN with several autonomous sensors and two types of gateways. We kept track of voltages, uptime and other diagnostic data. We combine our experiences from the study of these devices, and those of some others in the region and other developing countries and make recommendations where we have achieved good results and propose solutions where work is still in progress.