Applications of Smart Dust

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Future mobile wireless sensors networks technology such as smart dust may seem like science fiction but its making its way from research laboratory to enterprise.

What is smart dust? It’s a new technology that might shape our future in ways never thought imaginable. Think of your computer that you’re using and think of that same computer, fitted into the dimensions of an American quarter. That’s roughly what smart dust, also known as microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) is.

Smart dust has four basic subsystems requirements: power, computation, sensor and communication. The initial idea of smart dust was to miniaturise sensors and unite them with wireless communication technology to form network devices that can deliver a stream of
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The mote’s size makes energy management a key component. The circuit will contain circuits, a temperature sensor, and A/D converter, microprocessor, SRAM, communications circuits, and power control circuits. Sensors work together with the IC, which will operate from a power source integrated with the platform.

The MEMS has major markets in automotive pressure sensors, medical sensors and process control sensors and also the MEMS sensor technology are used to build micro motors.

Description of working of Smart Dust
Smart Dust technology consists of a single package with the following components integrated into it as follows: MEMS sensors, semiconductor laser diode, and MEMS beam–steering mirror for active optical transmission, a MEMS corner-cube retro reflector for passive optical transmission, an optical receiver, signal-processing and control circuitry, and a power source based on thick-film batteries and solar cells. Each dust mote consists of a power supply, a sensor or sensors, analog and digital circuitry, and a system for receiving and transmitting data, the dust mote can vary in size from 1 mm cube to as large as a sugar cube (Hsu, Kahn, Pister, 1998).

The smart dust mote is run by a microcontroller that determines the task performed by the mote, and also it has the power to the various components of the system to conserve energy. Periodically temperature, light, vibration, acceleration or air pressure is
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