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RFID Enables Korean Meteorological Administration to Keep an Eye on Weather

The agency is deploying a vast 300-node wireless sensor network on a remote island so it can get a heads-up regarding approaching storms.
By Claire Swedberg
To solve those problems, KT Corp. offered its Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN)+Mesh system, which included Firetide wireless sensor nodes. In 2006, KT Corp. carried out a trial of the system, according to Hyung-Keun Ryu, a senior researcher with the USN research department at the KT Future Technology Laboratory. In that year, the company installed several sensors using a wireless mesh network in the northeastern area of Jeju Island. A node can communicate with another node or gateway between 2.5 and 10 kilometers (1.6 and 6.2 miles) distant, sending data at a rate of 25 megabits per second.

In 2007, during the second phase of the project, KT extended the trial observation network to the southern area of Jeju Island. Today, the company is in the process of installing sensor nodes throughout the island, on towers and poles measuring 12 to 13 meters (39 to 43 feet) in height, while KMA phases out the existing wired-sensor system.

The island's existing surface meteorological observation technology feeds data to four manned stations, with 19 AWS unmanned stations operating to monitor serious weather. "The plan is to connect all of the 19 stations via the USN network using Firetide hardware," Ryu says. "This is still in process, with some stations already on Firetide, while the remainder will be connected in the future."

With the new system, each sensor node transmits its unique ID number, along with sensor data, to adjacent nodes at either 2.4 or 5 GHz, until that information reaches one of the 10 sensor gateways at the island's manned and unmanned stations. The gateways then send the data, via a cabled Ethernet connection, to a server where it is translated by KT Corp.'s software and forwarded to an aggregation point, or "head node," located at the JRMA building on the island. At that site, JRMA employs its proprietary software to analyze the data, and can forward it to KMA's internal ERP system so it can be shared with other KMA offices or agencies.

"All the observation data are stored on a database in Jeju KMA," Ryu says.

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