Evaluation of Wireless Techniques for Short-Range Communication
On radar level gauges currently shipped by Saab Rosemount, some adjustments of the unit's parameters has to be performed in the field. Presently, this is a cumbersome procedure; the operator has to be very close to the gauge and he either has to carry with him a bulky configuration unit or use a basic control unit on the gauge. A wireless solution, where a portable device and a receiver replace the control unit, would both allow the operator to work from a distance and eliminate the need for the bulky device. The most conspicuous restraint for such a solution is a very low allowed power dissipation. The reason for this is that some gauges do not have a separate power supply, but are fed directly off the communication bus. A viable solution should also be commercially available and robust enough to operate in an industrial environment. To meet these requirements both a theoretical and a practical assessment was conducted, where the two techniques for wireless communication, IrDA, and Bluetooth, was given special consideration. As for the portable device, the market for hand-held computers was investigated and ultimately a PDA from Palm was selected for this project. Together with this PDA, a prototype for each of the two wireless techniques was tested to ascertain their performance with respect to power dissipation, communication range, and communication robustness. This investigation revealed that Bluetooth could be used over a much greater distance than IrDA and it did also provide a more robust solution overall. IrDA is nonetheless also a competent technique, and has its primary advantage in terms of much lower power dissipation compared to Bluetooth.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:irda infrared bluetooth wireless short range communication pda
Date of Publication:01/01/2003