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Unattended Ground Sensors: Communications Technologies and Markets

  • ID: 616335
  • Report
  • July 2008
  • PracTel Inc
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  • Aether Wire & Location
  • Chipcon –TI
  • Falcom
  • Jennic
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  • Sensicast
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This is Issue II of the report, which was necessary to update previous information and to present new marketing data on WSN-UGS.

The topic of this report is Unattended Ground Sensors communications technologies and markets. UGSs are becoming common tools to obtain various information, including environmental, situational and other data from difficult reachable for humans places. They, initially, were utilized in the various military applications, and only lately found the place in the commercial sectors, starting from SCADA and going even to Personal Body LAN. The main advantage of such sensors is their ability to utilizing wireless communications between the area of deployment and an operator who may be located miles from the area of UGS operations.

Large-scale WSN-UGS represent an evolving generation of embedded communications structures and they have characteristics that differentiate them from traditional wireless networks. WSN-UGS have many constrains that are not typical for other wireless networks, such as:

-Node size
-Dependence on the battery life
-Extreme conditions for operations
-Large number of nodes.

These networks are usually constructed in a mesh topology, and are left to be self-organized and self-protected. They can function unattended for months, collecting valuable commercial or military information necessary for their users functioning. In many cases, these networks availability is vital for success of the military operation or normal operation of a manufacturing facility.

Our analysis showed that the UGS addressable market is growing together with a military WSN-UGS market, and 2010-2012 years will be a time of UGS penetration in a variety of commercial and military sectors.

The report concentrates on two forward-looking technologies, UWB and ZigBee that were designed with such applications as UGS in mind. Though completely different in nature, these technologies are well suited for UGS communications specifics, such as extremely low power consumption, low levels of transmission with noise-like signals, high security and low-to middle speeds of transmission.

The report contains marketing and technical analysis of both UWB and ZigBee, with accent on their applicability to support WSN-UGS mesh infrastructures. It also provides the analysis of UGS specifics in the WSN environment.

Research Methodology:

Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed; evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was also conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.

The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.

Target Audience:

This report provides WSN-UGS communications technologies and markets analysis and assessments. It shows that ZigBee and UWB are two primary communications technologies that support successful UGS development. The report is useful for service providers, retail operators, vendors, network operators and managers, investors and end users seeking to gain a deeper understanding of UGS-based structures opportunities and barriers.

For systems vendors, integrators and others, the report provides an analysis and assessment of competing products currently available as well as an estimation of the overall opportunities in the coming years. The end users can gain a more thorough understanding of product’s market and capabilities as well as the economics of using ZegBee and UWB to improve cost efficiency of Wireless Sensor Networks based on UGS.
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  • Chipcon –TI
  • Falcom
  • Jennic
  • Newtrax
  • Sensicast
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1.0 Introduction

1.1 General

1.1.1 Developments

1.2 UWB

1.2.1 Brief Description

1.3 ZigBee

1.4 UGS-based WSN

1.4.1 Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS)

1.5 Scope

1.6 Structure

1.7 Research Methodology

1.8 Target Audience

2.0 UWB: Technology and Market Specifics

2.1 General

2.1.2 History

2.1.3 Obstacles

2.2 Definition

2.2.1 Rates

2.3 Spectrum Allocation

2.3.1 Choices

2.4 Major Features

2.4.1 Communications Features

2.5 Standards and Regulations

2.5.1 Multiband OFDM

2.5.2 DS-UWB

2.5.3 Comparison

2.5.4 Standards Bodies

2.5.5 FCC and ETSI

2.5.6 ECMA International

2.5.7 European Regulators

2.5.8 Comparison Impulse Radio– Pulse Link, Time Domain DS-CDMA – Motorola and other Multi-Band OFDM (FH) – MBOA

2.6 Applications

2.6.1 General

2.6.2 Home Security-UGS

2.6.3 Phones

2.6.4 RFID

2.6.5 Communications and Imaging

2.6.6 WPAN

2.6.7 Imaging systems

2.6.8 Vehicular radar systems

2.6.9 Ranging

2.6.10 Public Safety

2.7 WSN-UGS and UWB

2.7.1 General

2.7.2 UWB Role UWB-structured WSN-UGS Features

2.8 Issues

2.9 Applications Summary

2.10 UWB Market

2.10.1 General Major Segments

2.10.2 Forecast


2.11 Industry: UWB and WSN

Aether Wire & Location (localization sensors)

AirGate (sensors)

Alereon (chipsets)

BBN (radio, first responders)


Camero (radar, equipment for first responders)

Focus Enhancement (chipsets)

Fujitsu Components (antenna, filter)

General Atomics (chipsets)


Multispectral (RFID and others)

Parco (RFID-Health Care)

Pulse~ Link (chipsets)

Staccato (chipsets)

TriQuint (chipsets – homeland security applications)

Time Domain (chipsets-fusion of communications & radar)

Tzero (chipsets)

Ubisense (RFID-tracking)

Wisair (chipsets)

WiQuest (chipsets)

3.0 ZigBee

3.1 General

3.2 Technology

3.2.1 Major Features

3.2.2 Device Types

3.2.3 Protocol Stack Physical and MAC Layers – IEEE802.15.4 Frame Upper Layers Interoperability Security

3.2.4 Platform Considerations Battery Life

3.2.5 ZigBee Technology Benefits and Limitations

3.3 Standardization Process

3.3.1 ZigBee Alliance Objectives

3.3.2 802.15.4- ZigBee Basis IEEE 802.15.4 Radio Application Specifics

3.4 Applications

3.4.1 General

3.4.2 Home PC

3.4.3 Manufacturing

3.4.4 WSN-UGS and ZigBee General ZigBee Role ZigBee-structured WSN-UGS

3.5. Market

3.5.1 Expectations

3.5.2 Segments

3.5.3 Forecast

3.6 Industry

Airbee (Software)

Amber (RF Systems)

Arch Rock (WSN-UGS-ZigBee)

Atmel (Chipsets)

Chipcon –TI (Chipsets)

Cirronet (Modules)

Crossbow (WSN, motes)

Digi (Radio)

Duolog (Transceivers)

Eazix (Modules)

Ember (Chipsets)

Falcom (Modules)


Helicomm (Modules)

Jennic (Chipsets-Modules)

Freescale (Chipsets)

MeshNetics (Modules)

Moteiv- Sentila (Modules, SW)

Nanotron (Chipsets)

Oki (Chipsets)

Renesas (Platforms)

Silicon Laboratories (Chipsets, Modules)


Telegesis (Integrator)

4.0 Competition Landscape

4.1 Climate of Competition

4.1.1 Bluetooth and ZigBee Air Interface Battery Drain Timing Considerations

5.0 UGS Technology–Specifics and Applications

5.1 Smart Sensor Structure

5.1.1 Classification

5.1.2 Details WSN-UGS Requirements

5.2 Networking

5.2.1 WSN-UGS: Examples

5.3 UGS Functioning

5.3.1 Parameters and Requirements

5.3.2 Details Examples Of Functioning

5.3.3 Future Combat Systems Subgroups Tactical Subgroup Urban/MOUT Advanced Sensor Systems

5.3.4 Intelligent Munitions System (IMS)

5.4 Standardization: IEEE 1451

5.4.1 General

5.4.2 Family

5.4.3 Description

5.5 Applications

5.5.1 General

5.5.2 Applications Examples Military Example: REMBASS Family Military: Future

5.6 Challenges

5.7Market Characteristics

5.7.1 Trends

6.0 UGS Vendors

BAE Systems


Crossbow (WSN)

Crane (WSN-ZigBee)

Dust Networks (USG-Mesh)



Intel (Chipsets)

Freescale (sensors)

Harris (UGS)

IWT (Mesh)

L3 (UGS)


MeshDynamics (Mesh)

Millennial Net (Mesh-UGS)

Moteiv-Sentilla (WSN)

MeshNetics (WSN Software)

Newtrax (WSN-mesh, UGS)



NorthropGrumman (UGS)

Octave Technologies (SW, WSN)

Plextek (Communications Platform for UGS)


Rheinmetall (UGS)

Selex (UGS)

Sensicast (WSN)

Strix (Mesh)


TextRon (UGS)

Thales (UGS)

Trident (UGS-UWB)


7.0 Conclusions

List of Figures

Figure 1: UWB Spectrum

Figure 2: OFDM Frequency Segments

Figure 3: DS-UWB Spectrum Characteristics

Figure 4: Spectrum Regulations-UWB

Figure 5: Spectrum Illustration

Figure 6: WSN-UGS and UBW

Figure 7: Market Estimate: UWB Circuitry ($B)

Figure 8: Market Estimate: UWB IC Shipments (Unit M)

Figure 9: Estimate of UWB Market – Communications Applications ($B)

Figure 10: UWB IC-WSN-UGS Market Segment ($M)

Figure 11: ZigBee Protocol Stack

Figure 12: Estimate: ZigBee Chipsets Market Worlwide ($M)

Figure 13: ZigBee Market Segmentation (2008)

Figure 14: ZigBee Market Segmentation (2013)

Figure 15: Two Groups

Figure 16: UGS-Functions

Figure 17: UGS Technologies

Figure 18: Distribution Factor

Figure 19: WSN-UGS Node

Figure 20: Market Estimate: UGS Nodes Sale ($M)

Figure 21: Market Estimate: UGS Nodes Shipped (Million Units)

Figure 22: UGS Market Geographical Segmentation

Figure 23: UGS Network Sizing

List of Tables

Table 1: Comparison: Conventioanl Ad Hoc Network and WSN

Table 2: Comparison: DS-UWB and MB-OFDM

Table 3: FCC Emission Limits

Table 4: Comparison

Table 5: UWB Applications: Summary

Table 6: UWB Market Segments

Table 7: ZigBee Parameters

Table 8: Comparison

Table 9: UGS Node-Price Components
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
4 of 5
- Aether Wire & Location

- AirGate

- Alereon

- Belkin

- Camero

- Focus Enhancement

- Fujitsu Components

- General Atomics

- Intel

- Multispectral
- Parco

- Pulse~ Link
- Staccato
- TriQuint
- Time Domain

- Tzero

- Ubisense

- Wisair

- WiQuest
- Airbee
- Amber

- Arch Rock

- Atmel

- Chipcon –TI

- Cirronet

- Crossbow

- Digi

- Duolog
- Eazix

- Ember
- Falcom

- GreenPeak

- Helicomm

- Jennic

- Freescale
- MeshNetics
- Moteiv- Sentila

- Nanotron
- Oki

- Renesas
- Silicon Laboratories
- Synapse

- Telegesis
- BAE Systems


- Crossbow

- Crane
- Dust Networks
- Elta

- Exensor

- Intel

- Freescale
- Harris


- L3

- McQ
- MeshDynamics

- Millennial Net

- Moteiv-Sentilla

- MeshNetics

- Newtrax

- Nelco

- NorthropGrumman

- Octave Technologies
- Plextek
- Qual-Tron

- Rheinmetall
- Selex

- Sensicast
- Strix

- Telonics

- TextRon

- Thales

- Trident

- Zeltech
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown