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Research magazine publishing UiA students’ bachelor’s thesis

Three UiA students will have their bachelor’s thesis published in a renowned journal. This is the first time bachelor’s students from UiA publish at the second quality level of the Norwegian Scientific Index.

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Students and professors, photo
From left.: Professors Frank Y. Li, M. Arild Haglund and Geir Jevne from the Department of ICT have collaborated with the student Anders Frøytlog to have the bachelor’s thesis published in the renowned journal IEEE Communications Magazine.

"It was a great moment for us when we finally knew that the article would be published. It was a relief because we have worked so hard on this. We knew the thesis would be good, but it has taken some time to adjust the article to meet the journal’s requirements at this level," Anders Frøytlog says.

The students Anders Frøytlog, Ole Bakker and Thomas Foss from the Department of ICT at UiA wrote the bachelor’s thesis. For the thesis, they designed a new method for controlling and monitoring wireless networks in places that are hard to reach, such as tunnels and under the asphalt on roads. The sensors they have developed use 238 times less power than other nodes.

The bachelor’s thesis in electronics was written in spring 2017 at UiA. While the two other students in the group, Bakker and Foss, have been employed out of town, Frøytlog has teamed up with five other people to get the thesis published as an academic article in the renowned journal IEEE Communications Magazine. The article is now ready for publishing.

In addition to the students, co-authors of the article are Professors Geir Jevne and M. Arild Haglund and Frank Y. Li from UiA, doctor Joaquim Oller from The Technical University of Catalonia and Professor Geoffrey Ye Li from Georgia Tech. 

A first for UiA

Saman med studentane Ole Bakker og Thomas Foss, leverte Anders Frøytlog ei imponerande bacheloroppgåve i elektronikk våren 2017.

Together with the students Ole Bakker and Thomas Foss, Anders Frøytlog created an impressive bachelor’s thesis in electronics in spring 2017.

"It is the first time I have seen a bachelor’s thesis at UiA published on this level. This is something we can be very proud of," Professor Frank Li from ICT at UiA says.

Li has followed up Fløytlog closely. He explains that many are doing research on so-called "wake-up radios" (WUR) in sensor nodes to save electricity. A WUR is a sleep/wake-up system that monitors sensor nodes in wireless networks. Wireless networks monitor and control light, temperatures in factories, industrial buildings and private homes. The sensors in these networks are a part of a global IoT network (Internet of things). The sensors are communicating wirelessly among themselves and to a sensor node and central that alerts any deviations.

"We wanted the students to look into designing a WUR that could reduce the total power consumption of a sensor node," Li explains.

Communication in wireless networks requires a lot of power. Battery capacity has been a central challenge.

Extending battery life

For the project, the students developed a WUR that extends the life of nodes significantly.

"It is possible to use WUR for everything from moisture sensors to monitoring tunnels and roads. By using the system in for example a moisture sensor installed in a wall without access from the outside, the battery life in the sensor can be extended. It will then be able to last many more years than what would have been possible without a WUR," Frøytlog says.  

The student group has made an additional circuit for a node. It is the circuit and not the node that listens for a signal. This way, the node can sleep deeply until it is woken by the additional circuit. Then the node will send the information it is supposed to before going back to hibernation. The information that is received by the mobile receiver is forwarded to an IoT cloud.

The electricity consumption of the monitoring system will be very low as the system will get a lot of the energy from the radio signals sent to it.

More power efficient

The students’ "wake-up radio" wakes up sensor nodes. That way, a sensor node can "sleep" until it has to do a measurement, and thereby save electricity when not in use. The current sensor node system works by waking up regularly to listen for a signal.

"With our system, this will no longer be necessary. To solve the problem, we have made a WUR that uses very little power and can wake up a selected sensor node when it is supposed to," Frøytlog says.

The draft for the article was sent back and forth between the department and the research magazine six times before the authors got the final approval.

Will be published in spring 2019

"We have learned a lot on this journey. It will be fun to see it in print this spring," Frøytlog says.

At the moment he is working on a master’s thesis in ICT, where he among other things is looking at how control tools, such as a mobile phone, can monitor and control the sensor from larger distances.

From 2014 to 2018, the electronics and ICT research group at UiA has published 100 articles. 20 of these are level 2 publications.

"Previously, we have published level 2 articles based on master’s theses. Now, we have made an even higher record. It is a good example of how good collaboration can create results of high quality," Li says.