Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Electronic Engineering

First Advisor

Mr. Fergus O'Reilly


Remote monitoring is used in many applications within the scientific, industrial and commercial communities. These applications can range from the simple monitoring of wind farm generators to the complex behavioural monitoring of a local fox habitat to the simple but extremely urgent monitoring of water depth for a flood prone river. Each application of remote monitoring requires different aspects of the remote monitoring device, but typically, not all these applications can be implemented, as the technologies required for their construction are extremely large, expensive, energy inefficient, slow and do not meet the constraints for the given application.

However with the advent of recent technologies such as the introduction of GPRS onto the GSM network, smaller fabrication processes and the mass production of high quality components, these constraints are becoming increasingly smaller and there exists the potential to implement a myriad of remote monitoring applications using these new and improved technologies.

The goal of this research is the identification of the needs of remote monitoring, with these requirements in mind a solution is suggested which will adhere to these criteria and fully address the principles of remote monitoring applications both now and in the future.

This work presents a generic communications module, which is capable of using SMS, GPRS and Radio as a mode of communication. The actual mode of communication is hidden from the user through use of a generic software interface. The hardware is designed to incorporate both the reduction in the size and power consumption of the communication modules to produce boards, which have smaller form factors and lower power consumption.

Marine Informatics will use the modules developed from this research in the industry. Marine Informatics is a company located in county Clare, Ireland. This company specializes in data buoys. Currently the data buoys they produce offer the following modes of communication; SMS, Radio and Satellite. The OEM modules they currently employ for communications are of a large form factor and consume large quantises of power, while the use of SMS as a transmission medium is convenient, it is costly and produces a bottleneck on the data transfer. The work presented here should help Marine Informatics and similar companies upgrade their current telematics systems to a next generation heterogeneous telemetry system, which is cheaper, smaller and more energy efficient than the telematics modules currently in use

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