The particle computer system

This paper presents a sensor-based, networked embedded system, referred to as the particle computer system. It is comprised of tiny wireless sensor nodes, capable of communication with each other, as well as connectivity with backend, PC-based systems, thereby facilitating software development and data analysis in an integrated systems package. The core design principles of the sensor nodes enable operation in very mobile settings and truly ad-hoc, peer-to-peer interoperation without the intervention of a master or explicit middleware layer. The two main system properties highlighted in this paper are: 1) information distribution to all components within the system and 2) the usage of a common communication language in all system components. This language has been proprietarily developed for the particle system and is known as ConCom. As a result of these system properties, we have found the particle system to be very extensible and applicable in many everyday scenarios. The paper presents insights to the implementation of the particle computer system, including software development and data analysis capabilities, and the overall system integration.