iMinds’ GreenWeCan project investigated the development of a ‘green’ dual wireless city network infrastructure—a wireless sensor network and a cooperative Wi-Fi access network. These support advanced communications services and aim towards a smart, sustainable city.
GreenWeCan’s dual wireless access network consists of a wireless local area network (WLAN) and a wireless sensor network (WSN), and supports the cost-effective deployment of scalable, high-speed Internet services. It also optimizes spectrum usage to decrease radiation exposure.
Outcomes of the GreenWeCan project included:
- A wireless sensor network to transfer and communicate information through diagnostic sensing
A grid of short-range wireless sensors was developed to transfer and communicate information through diagnostic sensing.
One practical application of GreenWeCan’s sensor network is a parking sensor device, which for the scope of this project extends specifically towards parking spots for disabled car drivers. It allows end users to be directed towards empty parking spots, through a mobile app. The potentials for this technology extend to traffic monitoring, data collection for city accessibility, and city wide parking management.
Another function of the sensor technology is its monitoring capabilities for garbage cans. The sensors, installed within garbage cans, indicate when the bin is full.
The wide applicability of this technology makes it an important step towards living in smart cities.
An outdoor Wi-Fi access network for ubiquitous Internet connectivity
In a live test environment in the busy city center of Ghent, GreenWeCan researchers developed an outdoor Wi-Fi network with several access points. The network provides users with ubiquitous Internet connectivity through seamless switchovers between the access points: users can move from one location to another without service interruptions.
Decreasing public radiation exposure
Multiple hubs are installed to keep the communication channels in short range. By doing this, radiation emissions are significantly reduced compared to traditional mobile networks.