Simplifying the orchestration of wireless sensor networks


Congatec – a company that specialises in embedded computer modules, single board computers and embedded design and manufacturing services – offers a design solution for the simplified orchestration of wireless sensor networks.

The solution is based on the new, application-ready Congatec Cloud Application Programming Interface (API) for IoT Gateways, which is capable of integrating any local sensor networks into any cloud solution.

The Cloud API for IoT Gateways communicates with local smart sensors, processes and converts the acquired data and executes automated actions based on a local rule engine, reducing traffic to the IoT cloud and enabling fast local actions.

Secure bidirectional data exchange with any suitable clouds is achieved by using the TLS secured MQTT protocol. The design solution utilises the Microsoft Azure cloud. Clients can access this cloud via https in client or administrator mode.

The company says that these features make the system a suitable starting point for OEMs that need to access smart sensor networks via IoT gateways and IoT edge servers. Typical application areas can be found in various IoT segments, from industrial production and machinery to smart cities, smart facilities, smart homes, smart energy grids, medical IoT, the transportation sector and digital signage.

It has built-in openness to integrate a range of wireless sensor interconnects, including Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, LoRa and other LPWANs, as well as wired protocols for building or factory automation via one single Cloud API. Heterogeneous protocol configurations and communication with other gateways are possible. Typical applications for the latter scenario are Industry 4.0 connected machines and intra-logistic systems.

The main software components are the different Cloud API function modules as well as the demo and test modules for provider independent IoT clouds. The sensor engine of the system makes the communication with the local sensor and actuators independent from any protocol. Additionally, it normalises the data records to freely definable physical units and checks for consistency.

The Congatec operating system (CGOS) library integrates relevant gateway system parameters, such as system temperatures, CPU workload and intrusion detection. The rule engine enables the gateway to locally initiate warnings and automated actions if certain values exceed or threaten to exceed a defined threshold.

Finally, the communication engine takes care of encrypted and provider independent data cloud communication via wired or wireless internet connections. The IoT cloud evaluation software provides the required tools for consolidating the sensor data in the cloud. Additionally, they can establish central messaging and control rules for the connected IoT applications, define further escalation scenarios and provide dashboards for remote clients.