Design and Implementation of Low Power Embedded System for Wireless Communication for Autonomous System

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Design and Implementation of Low Power Embedded System for Wireless Communication for Autonomous System

G. Anusha1, P. Muthuvel2, Sarojani Maurya2, M.H. Masood1

1Dept.of ECE, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur.

2National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai.

AbstractIn the current scenario, embedded system along with wireless technology play an efficient role in the industrial fields for controlling, monitoring and data transmission. This paper investigate a suitable low power wireless technology for data transfer between host and autonomous system for lab testing purpose. ZigBee module is intended to be simpler, less expensive and less power consumption than other wireless network. From host, data can be sent to ZigBee module using serial communication. Transmitted data is received in the ZigBee module which is connected to autonomous system. Current consumption during transmission and reception is also measured.

Index Terms Autonomous system, embedded system, wireless technology, ZigBee.

and acknowledge the data back to master. This process continues for every new message which is sent.


    The common wireless networking technologies are comprised of Bluetooth technology, ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, Wi-Fi technology and ZigBee technology.

    Table 1











    distance (m)


    Frequency range



    2.4 or





    Data rate (Mbps)








    capacity (nodes)



















    Comparison of wireless networking technology


      In the challenging environment, reliable and effective communication is a high-stake issue. Automation by remote and automatic systems have improved work place, cost-effectiveness, management of technical problems, energy saving, real-time response to events. In response to these challenges wireless communication have been employed for autonomous system for data transmission.

      In this paper, wireless communication is demonstrated between host computer and an autonomous system using ZigBee module. Data Acquisition Underwater system is being developed by National Institute of Ocean Technology consisting spherical hull made of glass. As the system is used underwater, it has to be leak proof. During the testing of the system firmware, it is hard to open the spherical hull, so we are stepping into wireless communication.

      For wireless communication, ZigBee technology is useful for transferring data between host and autonomous system which uses PIC microcontroller. The microcontroller is connected to ZigBee module using serial port interfacing to which it is connected to host. Another ZigBee module is connected to autonomous system. Host consists of hyper terminal and the data to be transmitted is typed and sent through this software. User can send the command and data from host and transmit using ZigBee wireless technology and receiver (slave) module receives

      For the investigation and applicable wireless system, the main features are illustrated in Table 1(Kawamura et al., 2013; Bandyopadhyay et al., 2009;


      et al., 2009; Bluetooth, 2013). As shown in Table 1, Bluetooth has limited applicability because of its very short communication distance and its low network capacity. However, UWB meets a suitable data rate, network capacity and low power consumption node but the communication distance is short.

      WiFi is a common wireless technology has adequate communication distance and high communication speed. Some negative aspects of this network are high power consumption, continuous power supply, access point connections for cabling and no multi-hop network topology.

      ZigBee is a new wireless technology which includes more benefits compared to other wireless network. It has

      suitable communication distances between nodes, low energy consumption and low complexity.


    1. Explorer 16 Development Board

      The Explorer 16 development board by Microchip Technology provides a low-cost modular development system for PIC24FJ128GA310 16-bit microcontroller. The Explorer board includes 100-pin Processor Installation Module(PIM), +3.3V and +5V (regulated) to the entire board. The Explorer 16 board supports MPLAB ICD 3 for full emulation and debug capabilities.

      Figure1. Explorer 16 Development Board

    2. ZigBee Technology

      ETRX357-LRS module is a low power ZigBee module. ZigBee is a wireless technology based on IEEE

          1. standard. Also, ZigBee technology has very cost effective nodes, network installation and maintenance compared with other wireless technology. It does not require any access point or central node to transmit data between clusters.

            Figure2. ETRX357-LRS ZigBee module

            Although ZigBee network has very low data rate (250kbps) for image, voice and video communication, it is capable in providing networking applications for data transmission between nodes with high performance based on wireless hops. Mesh network is formed between nodes

            in ZigVee devices. Mesh network is a type of chain which connects one device to another.

    3. RS 232 Cable

    For binary serial communication RS-232 acts as telecommunications standard between two Data terminal Equipment (DTE) and Data Communication Equipment (DCE). RS-232 is now used almost exclusively for modems that used to use serial ports.


This part of work consists of two phases of which the first phase consists of designing the program or code in Embedded C programming language which controls the Explorer 16 board i.e., PIC microcontroller and also allows the microcontroller to controls the ZigBee module connected to it. The second phase consists of deploying the developed program into the microcontroller through MPLAB ICD 3 connected to it and running it.

Once the code has been deployed into the Explorer 16 board, it runs automatically on the board. So before deployment, ZigBee module must be connected to the Explorer 16 board through the serial port.

Figure3. data transfer using ZigBee module

From the host data is transmitted to the ZigBee module. Another ZigBee module is connected to the microcontroller receives the data.


The paper was designed for wireless data transfer from host to autonomous system using ZigBee module, host computer have hyper terminal software to transmit the data.

Figre4. transmitting and receiving data through ZigBee module

Transmitted data was received in another module and acknowledge the data. Received data was displayed in the hyper terminal.

Current consumption during transmission and reception was measured. In idle mode current consumption was 28mA. During stabilized connection, current consumption was 46mA. For short distance transmitted received current was 46mA.


        1. Mohammad Ali Moridi, Youhei Kowamura et al., An investigation of underground monitoring and communication system based on radio wave attenuation using ZigBee, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 43 (2014) 362

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        2. Shiva Samrat Akkula et al., Wireless Data Transmission Between Pcs Using ZigBee Technology,Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST) ISSN: 3159-0040 Vol. 2 Issue 4, April 2015.

        3. Kawamura, Y et al., Using GIS to develop a mobile communications network for disaster-damaged areas, Int. J. Digital Earth, 2013. Available: 17538947.2013.808277

        4. Bandyopadhyay, L.K et al., ZigBee Technology: A Unique Wireless Sensor Networking Solution Wireless Communication in Underground Mines. Springer, US, 2009, pp.153174.


        5. K. Anitha et al., Embedded Bluetooth Data Acquisition System based on ARM for Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV), IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, July 2011,VOL.11 No.7.

        6. Lucio Di Jasio, Programming 16-Bit PIC Microcontrollers in C Learning to Fly the PIC24 Copyright © 2007, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

        7. Explorer 16 Development Board Users Guide © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc.

        8. ETRX35x-LRS ZigBee Module

        9. Zigbee Quick Start User Manual

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