Design experiences in minimalistic flying sensor node platform through SensorFly

Xinlei Chen, Aveek Purohit, Shijia Pan, Carlos Ruiz, Jun Han, Zheng Sun, Frank Mokaya, Patric Tague, Pei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor emergency response situations, such as urban fire, are characterized by dangerous constantly changing operating environments with little access to situational information for first responders. In situ information about the conditions, such as the extent and evolution of an indoor fire, can augment rescue efforts and reduce risk to emergency personnel. Static sensor networks that are pre-deployed or manually deployed have been proposed but are less practical due to need for large infrastructure, lack of adaptivity, and limited coverage. Controlled-mobility in sensor networks, that is, the capability of nodes to move as per network needs can provide the desired autonomy to overcome these limitations. In this article, we present SensorFly, a controlled-mobile aerial sensor network platform for indoor emergency response application. The miniature, low-cost sensor platform has capabilities to self deploy, achieve three-dimensional sensing, and adapt to node and network disruptions in harsh environments. We describe hardware design trade-offs, the software architecture, and the implementation that enables limited-capability nodes to collectively achieve application goals. Through the indoor fire monitoring application scenario, we validate that the platform can achieve coverage and sensing accuracy that matches or exceeds static sensor networks and provide higher adaptability and autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ACM.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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