Stargate Developer's Forum

Demo and Poster Abstracts

Monday, May 2, 2005

Acoustic Monitoring
Habitat Hierarchical Power Management
HiFi Intel Mote
Marine Microorganisms
Meerkats RFID Tagging


Seismic Stargate 2  
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Acoustic Monitoring Platform

Lewis Girod
Hanbiao Wang
PhD Candidate


To support the needs of various scientists at CENS, we are developing a self-configuring, programmable platform to enable acoustic monitoring applications. Our initial target application is part of a project to acoustically monitor a forest to detect, identify and localize particular species of woodpeckers. To enable this we required a portable platform with high-quality time-synchronized acoustic sensing, that was capable of hosting the development of novel collaborative signal processing techniques. Our platform, currently in the prototype phase, is a boxed stargate hosting a 4-channel acoustic sampling card and connected wirelessly via 802.11. The platform includes all components necessary for brief deployments, including internal LI+ batteries and all of the amplifiers and microphone preamps required to drive an array of 4 condenser microphones. Our platform also supports a self-calibration application that uses high-precision acoustic ranging to estimate the relative position and orientation of the acoustic arrays.

Habitat/Micro-Climate ESS

Naim Busek
Rahul Kapur


Abstract not available

Hierarchical Power Management

Jacob Sorber (graduate student), Nilanjan Banergee, Mark Corner
Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Sami Rollins
Mount Holyoke College



Microservers are resource-rich nodes within a sensor network that perform computationally complex tasks for other nodes that lack sufficient resources. These tasks may include image processing, database storage and query processing, localization, and target classification. Adding microservers to a network allows increased power and sophistication without adding costly resources to each individual sensor node. Unfortunately, these in-network servers traditionally consume a lot of energy and have very limited battery lifetimes. This problem can be addressed using a tiered architecture. In a tiered microserver, each tier operates as an independent subsystem with its own processor, memory, storage and network interface. By combining tiers with widely varied capabilities and power requirements, there is significant potential for energy savings.

Triage is a power-aware software architecture for tiered microservers. The goal of the system is to use high-power tiers as efficiently as possible. We work toward this goal by using asynchronous remote execution, aggregation, logging, and log optimization at lower tiers. Tasks arrive at the lowest tier, and are processed by operating system surrogates, which decided when and where the task should be executed. This allows the cost of waking a higher tier to be amortized across many tasks.


Shawn Jeffery
Graduate Student
UC Berkeley


Advances in data acquisition and sensor technologies are leading towards the development of High Fan-in architectures: widely distributed systems whose edges consist of numerous heterogeneous receptors such as sensor networks and RFID readers and whose interior nodes consist of traditional host computers organized using the principle of hierarchical aggregation. Such architectures pose significant new data management challenges. The HiFi system, under development at UC Berkeley, is aimed at addressing these challenges. HiFi uses data stream query processing to acquire, filter, and aggregate data from multiple devices including sensor motes, RFID readers, and low power gateways organized as a High Fan-in system.

HiFi uses Stargates as its mid-tier, initial processing nodes. On these nodes, HiFi runs a scaled-down version of TelegraphCQ, a streaming database management system based on PostgreSQL. Furthermore, HiFi uses Stargates as platforms on which to run Virtual Devices (VICEs). VICEs provide an architecture to interact with various types of receptors, cleaning, aggregating, and converting the data to a form that HiFi can use directly. VICEs are placed between the receptors and HiFi and provide a clean interface through which HiFi can access receptor-based data.

Intel Mote

Sensor Network Technology for Industrial Applications

Lama Nachman

Ralph Kling, Robert Adler, Jonathan Huang, Vincent Hummel
Intel Research

Extended Abstract


The Intel Mote is a new sensor node platform motivated by several design goals: increased CPU performance, improved radio bandwidth and reliability and the usage of commercial off-the-shelf components in order to maintain cost-effectiveness. This new platform is built around an integrated wireless microcontroller consisting of an ARM*7 core, a Bluetooth* radio, RAM and FLASH memory as well as various I/O options. Due to the connection-oriented nature of Bluetooth, a new network formation and maintenance algorithms that are optimized for this protocol have been created. In particular, the “scatternet” mode of Bluetooth has been successfully adapted to form networks comprised of multiple piconets.

The Intel Mote software architecture is based on an ARM port of TinyOS. Networking and routing layers have been created on top of the TinyOS base to provide the underlying multi-hop functionality. The network is self-organizing on startup and has mechanisms to repair failed links and circumvent failed nodes. Lower level functionality has been abstracted in the higher-level interface to allow the application programmer to utilize a virtual mesh network view without having to manage details of the Bluetooth operation. A new transport protocol has been developed to support end to end reliable transmission of large datagrams between arbitrary nodes in the network. Leveraging the Bluetooth hold mode, a network low power mode has been implemented. During this mode, data can still flow through the network at very lower rates, reducing the power consumption, while maintaining a fast network response time.

The Intel Mote was deployed in a pilot equipment monitoring application using industrial vibration sensors. This application was chosen since it benefits from the increased platform capabilities and network bandwidth of the Intel Mote platform. It also represents a potentially large market in the industrial monitoring and controls sector.

Marine Microorganism Monitoring

Amit Dhariwal
Graduate Student



There is a need to provide a platform for better monitoring and sampling in Marine environments. Such a platform should be able to withstand the highly dynamic nature of such an environment as well as cope with its vastness. The platform should be simple and easily scalable. A platform of this type would provide the scientists an invaluable tool in order to further the marine research by monitoring phenomena of biological importance.

As part of our research, we are building a fleet of autonomous roboducks (robotic air boats) for in-situ operation (data collection and analysis: using the stargate platform) in marine environments. The platform would support a variety of sensor suites and at the same time be easy to operate. It can operate in both exploration mode and intelligent mode. It can also collaborate (via communication) with other entities (sensor nodes, again using the stargate platform) in the local neighborhood making intelligent decisions. The roboduck fleet in conjunction with the buoy network will serve as a test bed for evaluating algorithms including bacterial navigation for marine sensing and adaptive sampling.

Some of the results we have obtained so far include autonomous GPS way point navigation and autonomous data collection of temperature and flourometry data over a day in marine environment.


A Power-Aware, Self-Managing Wireless Camera Network for Wide Area Monitoring

Roberto Manduchi
Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering
UC Santa Cruz

J. Boyce, X. Lu, C. Margi, G. Stanek, G. Zhang, R. Manduchi, K. Obraczka


Meerkats is a network of battery-operated Stargate boards, coupled with Logitech webcams, for wide-area visual surveillance. The goal of the project is to maximize the life time of the network while ensuring a given level of performance (expressed in terms of misdetection of moving objects/persons/animals). Our work emphasizes a number of different application-level aspects, including: Power consumption modeling for different states (image acquisition, processing, transmission); Vision algorithms for detection, segmentation, and 3-D localization of moving bodies; Hierarchical representation of visual events; Image acquisition policies for individual and cooperating cameras, based on statistical event modeling. In addition, we are studying network-level mechanisms for bandwidth- and power-adaptive routing and media scaling.

This work is supported by NASA - Intelligent Systems Program.

RFID Tagging

Waylon Brunette
University of Washington

People often misplace objects they care about. We present a system for generating reminders about objects left behind by tagging those objects with passive RFID tags. Readers positioned in the environment frequented by users read tags and broadcast the tags’ IDs over a short-range wireless medium. A user’s personal server collects the read events in real-time and processes them to determine if a reminder is warranted or not. The reminders are delivered to a wristwatch-sized device through a combination of text messages and audible beeps. At the forum we will demonstrate the interaction between the wristwatch and personal server.


Personal Exploration Rover

Illah Nourbakhsh
Associate Professor
CMU Robotics & NASA Ames

Introducing a Mission to Mars: In 2003 Carnegie Mellon University research team members designed, prototyped, and installed the Personal Exploration Rover (PER) exhibit as part of a vision to:
  • help the general public understand how NASA mission scientists use robots as space exploration tools
  • increase the general public's understanding of advances in robot autonomy

To achieve these educational goals, the Carnegie Mellon team set about creating an experience that was emblematic of the real challenges of NASA mission scientists as they explore Mars remotely. The PER exhibit is comprised of an autonomous robot, a physically simulated Mars terrain, an interface for developing rover missions and a wireless communication network between the rover and the interface.

It is currently engaged at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. It has also been at The San Francisco Exploratorium, The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum,  The National Science Center, and others.

Personal Server

Roy Want, John, Light, Trevor Pering
Intel Research

The Personal Server is a new class of mobile device that utilizes advances in processing, storage, and communication technologies to provide ubiquitous access to personal information and applications through the existing fixed infrastructure. The Personal Server possesses no display, allowing it to be smaller than traditional PDA-class devices; instead, it uses low-power short-range wireless for access to existing large-screen displays, such as those found on laptop computers or desktop PCs. The personal server is a pocket sized device that provides information we need right at our fingertips that can be accessed from any workstation, anywhere in the world.


Sam Irvine
Igor Stubailo

Abstract not available

Stargate 2

Roy Want
Intel Research


Stargate 2: straw-man proposal. Come and add your 2 cents to the design!


uNAV and Stargate Open-source Robotics Platform

Darren Liccardo
Inertial Engineer


The µNAV is a calibrated digital sensor system and servo control board for miniature ground and air robotic vehicles. It is part of a complete Radio Control (R/C) and robotics sensing and control solution from Crossbow. The µNAV contains 3-axis accelerometers, angular rate sensors, and magnetometers for inner loop control applications.

It also contains static pressure (altitude) and dynamic pressure (airspeed) sensors for airborne robotics and a GPS sensor for navigation and path planning. The µNAV R/C servo driving hardware allows direct connection of R/C servos to µNAV for software control. The R/C Receiver PPM interface allows for software interpretation of R/C receiver commands (PPM) and switching between software control and R/C receiver control for human "takeover" capability. The µNAV can plug into a Crossbow Stargate via the 51-pin connector to form a sophisticated open-source robotics platform. The Stargate can perform state estimation, closed-loop control, navigation, and WiFi telemetry downlink and command uplink. Payload sensors (i.e. USB image sensor) can also be connected and processed by Stargate to support intelligent robotics applications. Stanford computer science vision researchers are using a uNAV coupled with a Stargate, USB Camera, and Wi-Fi radio to explore obstacle avoidance algorithms and behaviors on a miniature "park flyer" class fixed wing airplane.