BANGALORE: A research project at IISc is all set to make Boeing planes more eco-friendly. At the end of the project, Boeing planes will have all their sensors charge themselves with energy harvested from the environment such as from the vibrations of the plane, from solar energy etc.
Planes have thousands of sensors to sense cabin temperatures, temperature difference between the inside and outside of a plane, pressure, humidity etc. They need a large amount of electricity to charge and most ground delays occur because of this, say experts.
“Big batteries are a bad idea on a plane as it is a lot of energy in a compressed space and can be hazardous in air,” says Dr Neelesh Mehta, who is part of the research team and recent winner of the Young Scientist NASI SCOPUS Award. Among other projects, green communications is a project on which Indian academia from IISc and Indian industry in the form of Wipro and HCL are collaborating with Boeing as part of the Aerospace Network Research Consortium, a co-operative research entity.
Dr Sudhakar Shetty, Director of ANRC says, “We have projects on Network Systems, Wireless Networks, Virtual Machines, and Modeling & Simulations with IISc and Wipro and HCL (from industry). The project on wireless networks is on Green Wireless Sensor Networks whose key objectives are Developing Algorithms and Characterisation performance of Green Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) that revolve around four core themes of energy harvesting from surroundings, minimal energy consumption, organisation in collectives and communication even in disturbed conditions.”
He added, “The key people involved from IISc are Vinod Sharma, Chandra Murthy, and Neelesh Mehta.” Neelesh says, “We have developed an algorithm, by which a sensor node will know how much energy it should transmit and at what data rate.”
He spoke about the other results and innovations his team has arrived at. He said, “We developed an analytical computer-based model that can calculate how much power to use for such retransmissions, so as to ensure that as much reliability in communication is achieved as is possible.”
Other applications they have developed are in pollution and environmental monitoring to detect leakage of chemical pollutants at low levels in real-time.