The current ultramodern technologies are focusing on automation and miniaturization. Smart dust are tiny electronic devices designed to capture mountains of information about their surroundings while literally floating on air. The idea behind ‘smart dust’ is to pack sophisticated sensors, tiny computers and wireless communicators into a cubic-millimeter mote. As the motes drift on wind, they can monitor the environment for light sound and a wide range of other information and beam that data back to the base station, miles away.
Smart Dust requires both evolutionary and revolutionary advances in miniaturization, integration, and energy management. Designers can use micro electromechanical systems to build small sensors, optical communication components, and power supplies.
The smart dust mote is run by a microcontroller that not only determines the task performed by the mote, but consists of the power to the various components of the system to conserve energy. It also turns on optical receiver to see if anyone is trying to communicate with it. Microcontroller will use the corner cube retro reflector or laser to transmit sensor data or a message to a base station or another mote. Primary constraint in the design of the Smart Dust mote is volume. Add legs or wings to smart dust and we get micro robots.
Miniaturization effort could help solve one of the most pressing economic problems of the day: run away energy costs. Sensors form a network relaying data. Save nations on electricity costs.
Chemical or biological sensors. Weapons stockpile monitoring. Defense related sensor networks. Land or space communication networks. Monitoring environmental conditions that affect crops and livestock. Building virtual keyboard. Internal space craft monitoring.
Research in the wireless sensor network area is growing rapidly in both academia and industry. Most major universities and many companies now have sensor networking projects, and some products are appearing on the market