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Real-time, Sensor-based Monitoring of Shipping Containers


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This presentation describes a sensor-based solution for real-time monitoring of high-value assets in-transit so shippers can react quickly to unplanned events such as delays, cargo damage, and even thefts.

Selected as one of the best presentations at the 2012 Vail Computer Elements Workshop. For 42 years, this 4-day workshop has served leading architects of the computer industry. The agenda is 100% invited technical talks and the audience is mostly previous speakers.

Published in: Technology

Real-time, Sensor-based Monitoring of Shipping Containers

  1. 1. Shipping Container Monitoring Vipul Gupta, Oracle Labs Vail Computer Elements Workshop, IEEE Computer Society, 2012
  2. 2. The Internet of Things Romkey & Hackett’s Internet Toaster, Interop ’99 2
  3. 3. The Internet of Things “ ’’ 10 fool-proof predictions for the Internet in 2020 3. The Internet will be a network of things, not computers. ... By 2020, it's expected that the number of Internet-connected sensors will be orders of magnitude larger than the number of users. 2
  4. 4. Smart Phones ? • Hard to imagine using phones that only make calls! • Mobile phones continuously integrating new functionality: PDA, cameras (still/video), navigator ... • Many built-in sensors: microphone, camera, accelerometer, light, proximity, GPS, compass ... • Growing interest in connecting other sensors/actuators: • Android Open Accessory Dev Kit • Redpark breakout pack for iOS 3
  5. 5. 4.6 Billion Mobile Phone Subscribers By 2015, Mobile Phones will Generate 6.3 Exabytes Data/month* *Source: Cisco Systems 4
  6. 6. Consumer Electronics becoming smart objects Source: Randy Krum’s blog, 5
  7. 7. Utility Metering Evolution Predict and respond intelligently to the dynamic behavior of all power suppliers and consumers Utility HAN Devices connect to central control panel, through which utility can schedule or control devices individually Home Smart Grid Smart Metering: Monthly/Daily/15-min collection via fixed or cell network. Two-way communication, utility can ping meter, send “time-of-use” pricing information or stop service remotely Home Area Network One-way meter reads, typically monthly via net, hand-held or drive-by AMI "If people do not have any idea how much energy they are using, how can you expect them to change their behavior?" Mechanical Meters AMR Jonathan Stearn, Energywatch
  8. 8. The Long Tail ... Quantified Self, M2M etc. 7
  9. 9. Motivation • Better efficiency -- resource management (lower cost of heating/cooling) • Improved security and peace of mind -- accurate, responsive tracking of valuable assets • Timely access to information -- smart phones, traffic/environmental sensors • Proactive health management -- both people and things (maintenance/repair) • Comfort and entertainment -- smart environments (buildings, homes) Empowering people with data to make better decisions 8
  10. 10. Big Data Source Proprietary and Confidential © 2011 Oracle Corporation – : Economist Magazine Special Report 9
  11. 11. The Need for Analytics From Data to Actionable Information What’s the best that can happen? Optimization What will happen next? Competitive Advantage Predictive Modeling Forecasting/Extrapolation What if these trends continue? Why is this happening? Statistical Analysis What actions are needed? Alerts Query/drill down Where exactly is the problem? Ad hoc reports How many, how often, where? What happened? Standard Reports Degree of Intelligence Source: Competing on Analytics, by T. Davenport & J. Harris 10
  12. 12. SPOT Device • Basic device has three layers • Battery • Processor Board with Radio • Sensor Board (application specific) • Processor Board alone acts as a base-station • User programs the device entirely in Java using standard tools, e.g. NetBeans • Java on bare-metal (no OS) 11
  13. 13. SPOT Capabilities/Technologies Embedded Development Platform Extremely flexible hardware and software package Use standard Java IDE Mobile Built in Lithium Ion battery charged through USB Easy to program - Java top to bottom Java Device Drivers Aware and Active Able to sense and affect surroundings Connected - Wireless Communication Mesh Networking Over the Air Programming Secure Built-in high grade ECC public key cryptography, user-friendly key management Built to Inspire! (search for “spaughts” on Flickr/YouTube) 12
  14. 14. Sun SPOT Developer’s kit • Two full SPOTs with sensor boards and batteries • One base-station SPOT s POT S ,000 -wide 20 ld ver O wor se in u • Software • Squawk VM • Java SDK • Netbeans • USB cable, mounting clips • Both hardware and software is open source • (forums, SDK download, kit purchase) • 13
  15. 15. YouTube Videos • > 200 videos • Mike’s Flying Bike viewed >175,000 x • Keyword SPAUGHTS 14
  16. 16. Shipping Containers • Shippers want to improve logistics, cut expenses, eliminate shrinkage • US cargo losses reported annually: > $15 Billion, Total cost > $45 Billion • 24M containers make ~200M trips/yr • Average cargo value estimates (TEU): Pharmaceuticals Hi-tech (electronics) Finished shirts T-shirts Baled cotton ~$ 12M ~$ 10M ~$115K ~$ 45K ~$ 15K • Insurance cost: ~1% of cargo value 15
  17. 17. Smart Container Solution Architecture ail Oracle Monitoring Service Portal Em Satellite Network er Al ts Logistics Personnel CMD-Mounted Container Shipper's Command & Control 16
  18. 18. Container Monitoring Device • Based on the Sun SPOT platform • Multiple sensors: • Environmental: temperature, humidity, light • Intrusion: light, PIR, door coil, UWB radar • Location: GPS • Dual-mode long-range wireless communication • Quad-band GPRS • Satellite communication • Short-range low-power mesh networking: • 802.15.4 • Secure communication • Long-lasting battery 17
  19. 19. 18
  20. 20. Networking Challenges • Network bandwidth is limited, costly • 340 byte/packet, $1.40/KB !!! (satellite communication) • precludes sending raw data • Devices are duty-cycled to preserve energy • can not push data • re-establishing network can take tens of seconds • Device may not have a long-term network address • mobility (real or perceived) • NAT/firewall Requires a gateway-based network architecture* *Gupta et al., “A Network Architecture for the Web of Things”, Second Int’l Web of Things Workshop , Pervasive 2011 19
  21. 21. Sensor Fusion Example A B C Light Infra-red Proximity PIR (motion) Door sensor UWB Radar 3-axis Accelerometer { { 20
  22. 22. Device v/s Back-end Alerting • Intrusion notifications sent with higher priority than periodic reports • Both include location. Out-of-order processing at portal causes unexpected alerts behavior • Device-side alerting can be smarter, e.g. adaptive sampling Waypoint 21
  23. 23. Sensor Recalibration • Sensor readings vary across devices, impacted by environmental variations: A metal detector based on pulse-induction, the same technology used in our door sensor. 22
  24. 24. Story of the GPS Module 9.5mA 12mA 13.1mA 3.3mA • • • • GPS low-power mode, device off but retains almanac/ephemeris data Allows valid “fix” in as little as 6 sec after power-on Early “fix” quality is poor, can be improved in subsequent readings How long to stay on? 23
  25. 25. Story of the GPS Module 9.5mA 12mA 13.1mA 3.3mA • • • • GPS low-power mode, device off but retains almanac/ephemeris data Allows valid “fix” in as little as 6 sec after power-on Early “fix” quality is poor, can be improved in subsequent readings How long to stay on? 23
  26. 26. Other Challenges 24
  27. 27. Cloud-based Monitoring Portal • Stores and analyzes sensor data and alerts received from all CMDs • Dashboard and timeline views show current data and history • Allows users to commission and decommission trips • Lets users define geofences of interest • Generates notifications for registered events 25
  28. 28. Summary • The Internet of Things represents the future of data and is a key area of interest at Oracle • A flexible sensor platform emphasizing ease-of-use and rapid prototyping • End-to-end integrated solutions (hardware, software and services) for specific markets 26
  29. 29. Questions? 27