Patent: Energy-efficient radio platform
Inventor: Dr Przemyslaw Pawelczak
Pawelczak and his students have devised a new system for small sensors that reduces energy consumption to a minimum. “The less reliant on batteries you are, the cheaper and better the result,” explains the scientist, originally from Poland.
His invention is called BLISP, which merges two existing acronyms for mobile communication: WISP (Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform) and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). The latter is a passive radio technology that is wireless and does not need batteries, like the public transport card used in the Netherlands. This maximises its energy efficiency, but it offers only limited reach (2 to 20 metres). In a situation where, for example, a cow leaves the shed and the farmer no longer has any data (about the cow’s condition), BLISP switches to active wireless radio technology, which can cover greater distances. The only disadvantage is that it consumes more energy. “It’s a flexible system,” explains Pawelczak, “the ideal switching point depends on whether someone wants to keep energy consumption to a minimum or maximise the amount of data received.”
The most serious application of the BLISP technology is to monitor data on cows in the shed, such as their temperature, heartbeat, or how much they move. But to the software developer, it does not really matter what exactly is measured using the technology. His expertise is focused on optimising a hybrid radio platform.