ZigBee/GPS Tracking System for Rowing RacesNuno D. Simões1, João L. Gonçalves1, Maria L. Caeiro1,2, Miguel J. Boavida1, Fi...
The point-to-multipoint wireless network between the FUand the MUs is implemented with 869 MHz ZigBeeetransceivers [4].Fig...
The core of the CU is a microcontroller that manages all thedevices operation. The tasks performed by this sub-blockconsis...
Possible Data Bytes functions include:x Transmission power management;x Parameterisation of retransmission policies.The st...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Zig bee gps tracking system for rowing races


Published on

For more projects visit @ www.nanocdac.com

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Zig bee gps tracking system for rowing races

  1. 1. ZigBee/GPS Tracking System for Rowing RacesNuno D. Simões1, João L. Gonçalves1, Maria L. Caeiro1,2, Miguel J. Boavida1, Filipe D. Cardoso1,21ESTSetúbal, Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Setúbal, Portugal2Instituto de Telecomunicações/Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, PortugalEmail: {032345392, 060250024}@alunos.estsetubal.ips.pt; {luisa.caeiro, miguel.boavida, filipe.cardoso}@estsetubal.ips.ptAbstract — In this paper a ZigBee/GPS Tracking System forRowing Races is presented. The system provides real-timemonitoring of boat position. Potential applications includes, racemonitoring, aided-training and safety systems. The system iscomposed of two main types of modules, Mobile Units equippedwith a GPS receiver (in the boat), and a fixed one composed bythe Central Unit and the Race Manager, located in the operationsroom. The communication between the Central and the Mobileunits is provided by a point to multipoint ZigBee wirelessnetwork. At the current development stage a system prototypewas developed and used for testing purposes. Preliminary tests,in order to make a first assessment of system functionalities, wereperformed in a simulated land environment and the obtainedresults were promising.GPS, ZigBee, Tracking, Rowing.I. INTRODUCTIONRowing is a Sport that normally provides very beautifulimages that illustrate the essence of Sport in respect to courage,resilience and team work. At an Olympic level, a Rowingcompetition takes place in a 2 km natural or artificial lake, andtakes approximately 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type ofboat [1].Global Positioning System (GPS) based tracking wasintroduced in this Sport at Olympics, in order to provideadditional information for television broadcasting [2], [3]. Thesystem presented in this paper addresses a differentperspective. A small, low budget, GPS tracking system that canbe used in local rowing events, in training sessions, but also asa safety device for the athletes training all alone.The use of this system in an event makes possible for all thespectators to have a more interesting experience whenattending an event. Normally, the spectators are located nearthe finishing line and have the opportunity to see the last 30seconds of the race. With this system an information panel nearthe finishing line may continuously update boat positionsproviding a visual representation of the ongoing race withoutthe need for a TV monitoring system. This information mayalso be available online representing an interesting source ofinformation for journalists, sponsors and the public in general.As a training tool, one is especially interested in managingperformance. With this system it is possible to store all theresults obtained by an athlete or a team, showing theirevolution and, identifying patterns in performance. The XML(eXtended Markup Language) based information, makes itpossible to share performance data between team members thatare geographically apart, and the graphical interface helps tocompare the performance in different runs.Finally, the use of this system as safety device may also beused by recreational rowers or tourist facilities that providerowing boats for their clients. At sport level it is also importantto note that a large number of rowing athletes of all ages gopracticing alone, without couches or additional equipmentbesides their boat.This paper is organised as follows. The proposed systemarchitecture is detailed in Section II. The data structure isdetailed in Section III. Results from preliminary tests arepresented in Section IV. Conclusions are drawn in Section V.II. TRACKING SYSTEM DESCRIPTIONThe proposed ZigBee/GPS tracking system was developedwith the main objective of real-time monitoring of boats inrowing races. For this purpose a point-to-multipoint ZigBeewireless network was implemented, therefore, allowing thecommunication between a Fixed Unit (FU) and Mobile Units(MUs) located in the boats. In this way, remote monitoring ofboats position and speed during a race is possible without theneed for visual line-of-sight. MUs are equipped with a GPSreceiver, therefore, allowing to provide boats geographicalcoordinates during a race.Additionally, several functionalities have been added to thesystem. Among them one refers to the possibility of sendingemergency alerts from a MU to the FU or, reversely sendingrelevant information from the FU to any given MU. Thisfeature is particularly relevant from a training perspective,enabling “online coaching”, since the coach can remotelymonitor the training practice of the athletes and send relevantinformation to any given boat.The system architecture is depicted in Figure 1. MUs, inthe boats, are equipped with a GPS receiver, a ZigBee wirelessmodule and a LCD interface. The FU is composed of a RaceManager (RM) application, running on a computer, and CentralUnit (CU) that provides the ZigBee interface with the MUs.The RM was developed in order to allow the networkcontrol by the operator, therefore, allowing to control andconfigure the network, and to monitor the position of each MUon the boats. When operating in real-time tracking mode theRM application calls each device and orders it to send theacquired GPS data, recording it on a database, for future query.
  2. 2. The point-to-multipoint wireless network between the FUand the MUs is implemented with 869 MHz ZigBeeetransceivers [4].Figure 1. Tracking system architecture.A. Race ManagerThe RM is a computer application designed to behave likethe "brain" of the system. This unit allows controlling the MUs,providing all the functionalities for remote configuration, dataacquisition and recording, and race monitoring, Figure 2.Figure 2. Race manager (Insert new race window).This application is basically composed by a database and aGraphical User Interface (GUI) which enables the monitoringand management of race related information as well asrecording of GPS data sent from MUs. The RM also containsall configuration information related to remote devices. In thisway, the RM allows managing all rowing race data whileallowing to send/receive relevant messages to, and from, MUson boats.The Entity Manager (EM) is responsible for managingrelationships between the various entities and informationflows from the GUI, being responsible for data managementand storage. All data is saved as XML data, therefore, allowingto easily access it for future use. Database entities/fields andcorresponding relationships are illustrated in Figure 3. Theentity Competition, is a collection of various Race entities withdifferent Boat Classes at different Stages. All the informationabout a boat in a race, namely position (GPS coordinates) andtime is stored in the entity Boat/Race. Information andcharacteristics of MUs and its association to a given boat isstored in the Mobile Units entity. The entity Boat/Rowerenables the link between both Boat and Rower entities.Comp_IDComp_NameComp_PlaceComp_Start_DateComp_End_DateSt_IDSt_NameRace_IDRace_Comp_IDRace_St_IDPro_DatePro_HourPro_BC_IDPro_GPS_StartPro_GPS_EndPro_DistancePro_Dist_StartBR_Boat_IDBR_Race_IDBR_Boat_NumberBR_PositionBR_TimeBR_MU_IDBR_GPS_StartBR_GPS_CoordMU_IDMU_GPSMU_XBee_AddressMU_XBee_NetMU_XBee_AvaliableBR_Boat_IDBR_Rower_IDBoat_IDBoat_Class_IDRower_IDRower_NameRower_BirthdateRower_NacionalityRower_HeightClass_IDClass_NameClass_Num_RowersBoat/RowerBoatRower Boat/RaceBoat ClassMobile UnitsStageRaceCompetitionFigure 3. Database structure.B. Central UnitThe CU is the physical interface that allows the RM tocommunicate with MUs. The CU is a hardware device that isconnected via the serial interface to a computer running theRM application. It is composed of several sub-blocks, amongthem one refers the microcontroller, multiplexing anddemultiplexing, wireless module and voltage level converter,Figure 4.Figure 4. Central Unit prototype for testing purposes.
  3. 3. The core of the CU is a microcontroller that manages all thedevices operation. The tasks performed by this sub-blockconsist essentially in establishing the communication betweenthe RM and the wireless module.Since the microcontroller has only one serial interface to beshared by two different sub-blocks, amultiplexing/demultiplexing scheme is used. It should bestressed that this approach allows a modular expansion whenadditional sub-blocks are needed to be inserted if a differentapplication is targeted.In terms of hardware, the CU is composed of aPIC18F2550 microcontroller, and multiplexing/demultiplexingfunctions are performed by an IC4052 connected to an868 MHZ ZigBee module, that provides the communicationwith the MUs.C. Mobile UnitThe MU on the boat, can be remotely configured by theRM with data associated to a specific race, and provides to theRM the coordinates of the boat during a race. Moreover, it alsoallows sending information to rowers on certain events, e.g., afalse start. From the transmission and data processing point ofview the MU has a structure similar to the one for the CU, themain difference being the inclusion of a GPS receiver and aLCD interface. Additionally, each MU is equipped with anemergency button. When pressed, an emergency message istransmitted to the FU. The MU prototype used for testingpurposes is illustrated in Figure 5.Figure 5. Mobile Unit prototype for testing purposes.The core microcontroller manages the operation of thisdevice in a similar way as detailed for the CU. This module canbe expanded in a modular way by including additionalmodules, if needed.The microcontroller is responsible for handling/processingrequests from the CU. Among the various types of request thatcan be received, there is the one for the GPS coordinates.III. DATA STRUCTUREThe data frame structure used for the communicationbetween the RM and the CU is presented in Figure 6.Encapsulation performed by the wireless ZigBee modules isnot considered here.Figure 6. Race Manager/Central Unit frame structure.The frame structure is composed of a one byte startdelimiter followed by two bytes which indicates the number ofbytes in the Data Field. The frame structure ends with a onebyte checksum field.The Data Field is composed of 4 to 124 bytes depending onthe type of transmitted data. This data field can contain specificdata, e.g., geographical GPS coordinates, or system specificcommands or information.Three different classes of data frames are used for differentpurposes: (i) general use, (ii) local configuration of the wirelessmodule, or (iii) remote configuration of MUs.The Data Field structure for general is composed of twobytes for frame identification, followed by eight bytes with thedestination network address and n data bytes that depend on thefunction of the frame to send, Figure 7.Figure 7. Data Field structure, general use.Possible Data Bytes functions include:x Activate MU;x Request for GPS coordinates;x Send data to LCD on MU;x Race and boat configuration;x General configuration functions;x Request for GPS state.The remote configuration Data Field structure consists oftwo bytes for frame identification, followed by 8 bytes with thedestination network address of the MU, two bytes with thecommand instruction for the wireless module, and finally, anumber of data bytes that depend on the function of the frameto send, as depicted in Figure 8.Figure 8. Data field structure, remote configuration.Start Delimiter Frame Length Data Field Checksum4 –124 Bytes
  4. 4. Possible Data Bytes functions include:x Transmission power management;x Parameterisation of retransmission policies.The structure of local configuration frames is similar to theone for remote configuration, exception made to the destinationnetwork address that is not needed, since local configurationrefers to the wireless module of the CU that is physicallyconnected to de RM where the command is originated.IV. PRELIMINARY RESULTSAt the current developing phase the ZigBee/GPS trackingsystem for rowing races was in a preliminary prototypedevelopment phase, hence, hardware and softwarefunctionalities are being tested in non-real racingenvironments. Future developments include theimplementation and testing of new hardware prototypes in realrowing race conditions.With the aim to make a primary assessment a land testingenvironment was used to properly access system functionality.It should be stressed that the obtained results can be naturallyaffected by different propagation conditions when performingtests in real rowing race scenarios.Figure 9. Test scenario.The test scenario was a road close to the coast. The MUwas mounted on a vehicle travelling from point A to B (2 kmdistance, red line) at an average speed of 50 km/h, higher thanthe one usually found in rowing races (the average speed of aboat in a race was about 24 km/h). The transmitted power wasset to 500 mW Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power.From the coverage point of view 98.2% of geographicaldata information sent from the MU was received at the FU. Itmust be stressed that these results are significantly dependenton the propagation conditions in different environments,nevertheless, from these preliminary results, the proposedsystem behaves like expected. Additional tests will beperformed in real rowing race scenarios in order to properlyassess system specifications.V. CONCLUSIONSThe ZigBee/GPS tracking system for rowing races,presented in this paper aims at providing the requiredfunctionalities that associated to wireless communicationcapabilities will allow real-time monitoring of rowing races.Moreover, the implemented system provides two waycommunications between the CU and MUs in the boats,therefore, allowing to send relevant information to the rowersin the boat as well as receiving information from the boat, e.g.,emergency signals.Since the wireless infrastructure is completely autonomous,being based on a ZigBee point to multi-point network, it can bedeployed anytime and anywhere without any especialpre-requisites.Globally, the key objective was achieved, and the testresults in a simulated scenario (non-real rowing raceconditions) are promising.Both hardware devices, the MU and the CU, are designedto be modular, therefore, being possible to adapt other wirelesstechnologies and other sensing devices if needed.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe authors would like to thank the Portuguese RowingFederation for their support in the development of this work.REFERENCES[1] Oficial World Rowing website, http://www.worldrowing.com, Oct. 2010.[2] K. Zhang, R. Deakin, R. Grenfell, Y. Li, J. Zhang, W. Cameron and D.Silcock, “GNSS for sports – sailing and rowing perspectives”, GNSS2004, − The 2004 International Symposium on GNSS/GPS, Sydney,Australia, Sep. 2004.[3] S. Ilarri, E. Mena, A. Illarramendi and G, Marcos, “A Location-AwareSystem for Monitoring Sport Events”, MoMM 2010 – The 8thInternational Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing andMultimedia, Paris, France, Nov. 2010.[4] ZigBee Alliance, ZigBee Specification, http://www.zigbee.org,June 2005.[5] Oficial GPS website, http://www.gps.gov, Oct. 2010.