An information technology that can combine the physical world and virtual world is desired. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept system that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), WSN and barcode scanners to sense and to detect physical objects and events. This information is shared with people on the Internet. With the announcement of the Smarter Planet concept by IBM, the problem of how to share this data was raised. However, the original design of WSN aims to provide environment monitoring and control within a small scale local network. It cannot meet the demands of the IoT because there is a lack of multi-connection functionality with other WSNs and upper level applications. As various standards of WSNs provide information for different purposes, a hybrid system that gives a complete answer by combining all of them could be promising for future IoT applications.
This thesis is on the subject of `Federated Sensor Network' design and architectural development for the Internet of Things. A Federated Sensor Network (FSN) is a system that integrates WSNs and the Internet. Currently, methods of integrating WSNs and the Internet can follow one of three main directions: a Front-End Proxy solution, a Gateway solution or a TCP/IP Overlay solution. Architectures based on the ideas from all three directions are presented in this thesis; this forms a comprehensive body of research on possible Federated Sensor Network architecture designs. In addition, a fully compatible technology for the sensor network application, namely the Sensor Model Language (SensorML), has been reviewed and embedded into our FSN systems. The IoT as a new concept is also comprehensively described and the major technical issues discussed. Finally, a case study of the IoT in logistic management for emergency response is given. Proposed FSN architectures based on the Gateway solution are demonstrated through hardware implementation and lab tests. A demonstration of the 6LoWPAN enabled federated sensor network based on the TCP/IP Overlay solution presents a good result for the iNET localization and tracking project. All the tests of the designs have verified feasibility and achieve the target of the IoT concept.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.