Dust Networks Applications

Dust Networks®, a pioneer in the field of wireless sensor networking, is defining the way to connect smart devices. Dust Networks delivers reliable, resilient and scalable wireless products with advanced network management and comprehensive security features. Combine this with Eterna™ ultra-low power IEEE 802.15.4 SoCs and you get wireless sensor networks that can be deployed anywhere data can be gleaned.

The undisputed leader in supplying low power wireless mesh networks for demanding industrial process automation applications, Dust Networks customers also include Fortune 500 organizations that provide solutions for building automation, data center energy management, renewable energy, and much more. Thousands of Dust-enabled networks have been deployed around the globe, securely connecting a wide variety of smart devices to applications that are delivering on the promise of a smarter, greener, more efficient planet.

Data Center

Manage the data center environment and significantly reduce energy consumption by connecting sensors that not only monitor, but control temperature, pressure and humidity. Click here for case study.

Industrial Automation

Lower systems and infrastructure costs, use energy and materials more efficiently, improve safety and guarantee regulatory compliance in factories, refineries, and plants. Click here for a process monitoring case study, or click here for a semiconductor manufacturing case study.

Renewable Energy

Optimize operational efficiencies and uptime of equipment in the production of electricity in solar farms, wind farms, and smart grid distribution infrastructure.

Building Automation

Reduce installation and maintenance costs for lighting control and HVAC systems using wireless mesh for the underlying communications among sensors in commercial buildings.

Remote Monitoring

Enable large-scale environmental monitoring with field-tested products made for harsh weather, difficult RF environments, and long battery life designed to endure high-volume data transmissions. Click here for case study.


Improve quality and quantity of data collection with intelligent infrastructure solutions that optimize the use of transportation assets such as city parking spaces, rail systems and logistics operations. Click here for the smart parking case study, or click here for an airport fueling case study.

Wireless Sensor Networks for Green Data Centers

The ability to reduce energy consumption is critical in data centers, which are among the largest consumers of energy in the world. In fact, data centers collectively represent the fifth largest use of electricity in the US. One-third to one-half of the electricity consumed by the data center comes from air conditioners, fans, dehumidifiers, and pumps.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks, (WSN) for data center energy management:

  • Lowers data center operating costs by reducing energy consumption up to $9 per square foot 
  • Delivers improved availability by reducing data center downtime
  • Eliminates installation of cable or conduit and reduces costs association with rewiring and reconfiguration
  • Simplifies data center reconfiguration and retrofits

SmartMesh-enabled WSNs are uniquely able to be deployed in a data center without requiring any cable or conduit—an entire temperature, pressure and humidity sensing network can be deployed without a moments disruption to data center operations, and with no construction required. The ability to get better information about the thermal condition of the data center is critical to manage this environment, and allows IT managers to operate the data center at lower overall cost and higher availability than ever before.

For example, a SmartMesh-enabled sensing and control system developed by Vigilent measures temperatures at critical locations throughout the data center, and can automatically adjust the amount of cold air produced by cooling units, directing that cold air to the proper locations through variable speed fans and remote vent controls. Read the case study.

Only wire-free solutions based on SmartMesh allow sensors to be placed in exactly the right location to optimize energy performance and ensure reliability of the thermal environment while preserving the flexibility required for IT equipment upgrades.

Adding an intelligent sensing system to the data center can reduce the energy consumption in an average data center by hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours annually.  With data centers expected to increase by 40 to 50 percent nationally in the next four years, the imperative to change is upon us.


Wireless Sensor Networks for Industrial Monitoring and Control

Greater access to monitoring and control information gives engineers better visibility and ultimately better decision-making power when it comes to industrial environments such as plants, factories, and refineries. 

SmartMesh wireless sensor networks (WSN) are used to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of applications for a wide variety of applications including process monitoring, process control, machine health monitoring, corrosion detection, and to ensure regulatory compliance.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks for industrial automation and process control:

  • Lowers systems and infrastructure costs with reduced maintenance and elimination of cabling
  • Improves efficiency of materials use by monitoring and predicting requirements
  • Improves process safety by automating activities previously unmanageable with a wired solution

Process Monitoring

The rock-solid reliability and simple installation and management of SmartMesh WirelessHART-enabled solutions lets engineers get the measurements they need, when they need them to improve productivity. And, by leveraging field devices based on the WirelessHART (IEC62591) standard, device commissioning is just as simple as in the wired world—no need for new skills, tools, or consultants. Real-world installations have demonstrated that self-organizing WirelessHART networks provide a 90% reduction in installation cost compared to wired sensors, knocking down the barrier to widespread deployment of sensors in the industrial environment. 

For example, the GlaxoSmithKline plant in Cork, Ireland, is a strategic operation, manufacturing many of the active ingredients used in the formulation of prescription drugs. To increase productivity, they added two new water storage tanks.  Wanting to measure water levels and usage, GlaxoSmithKline selected Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount® Smart Wireless flow and pressure transmitters because of the reduced installation costs and because it would be easy to expand the network without disrupting operations or data collection. Using Dust Networks® SmartMesh® technology, the Rosemount Smart Wireless product family created a resilient, reliable and secure wireless mesh sensor network over which to transmit sensor data without digging trenches and laying cable, reducing installation costs significantly.  The SmartMesh intelligent network also allowed secure, non-disruptive expansion of the network as needed.  Click here for case study.

Machine Health Monitoring

As plant infrastructure ages, equipment failures cause more and more unplanned downtime. The ARC Advisory Group estimates that 5% of production in North America is lost due to unplanned downtime. Wireless makes it economically feasible to monitor many more pieces of plant infrastructure - not just the few deemed critical.

While leading manufacturers fully understand the value of predictive maintenance, until now the challenge has been the sheer impracticality of installing sensors on every piece of aging infrastructure.

Corrosion Detection

Aging pipelines and tanks have become a major problem in the oil and gas industry. Monitoring corrosion using manual processes is extremely costly, time consuming, and unreliable. A network of wireless corrosion sensors can be economically deployed to reliably identify issues before they become catastrophic failures.

Rohrback Cosasco Systems, the market leader in corrosion monitoring products and services for process industries, addresses the needs of today's critical infrastructure with the SmartMesh WirelessHART-enabled RCS Microcor Wireless Transmitter, which enables rapid communication of corrosion rate data, extending overall asset life and providing peace of mind with respect to potential environmental mishaps caused by corrosion.

Regulatory Compliance

When the world leader in biological specimen management wanted to reduce the use of manual logs in its facility, the company had two objectives in mind: increase productivity and continue to ensure that validation results of each test met stringent FDA requirements.

A SmartMesh-enabled wireless sensor network was selected over a hard-wired solution because it eliminated sterility concerns of hard-to-clean wiring conduit, and provided ease-of-installation when measuring conditions in incubators, refrigeration units, ductwork, and rotating equipment. The system allows technicians to remotely view real-time data and compile historical sensor data, providing considerable savings in time and labor.

Gas Cylinder Consumption Monitoring in Semiconductor Manufacturing

Semiconductor companies carefully manage their semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities ("fabs") to maximize uptime, yield and throughput. Plant operation teams are constantly looking for new ways to squeeze even fractions of a percent more efficiency out of the manufacturing process. At Linear Technology Corporation's Silicon Valley fab, a SmartMesh IP wireless sensor network is used to streamline manufacturing operations - montoring gas cylinder levels to proactively schedule replenishment and ensure uninterrupted supply. Click here for the case study. 

Wireless Sensor Networks for Energy Plant Monitoring

Wireless sensor networks in large-scale deployments for photovoltaic or concentrating solar power are used for real-time equipment monitoring, and are critical to maintaining plant uptime. The long battery life and ability to withstand harsh conditions make this technology ideal for applications in renewable energy.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks (WSN) in renewable energy:

  • Reduces equipment downtime with real-time monitoring
  • Lowers cost of deployment over large areas by eliminating cabling and reducing costs of installation
  • Provides reliable connections even in harshest outdoor conditions
  • Long battery life reduces replacement effort and costs

Solar Plant Monitoring

The challenges associated with a large-scale deployment of solar energy generation systems make the use of wireless sensor networks quite compelling. For these systems, reducing installation costs while maximizing operational efficiency is paramount to success. The equipment costs, installation labor, and complexity of the network communications infrastructure can quickly become the single largest factor in the deployment as these systems scale in size.

Whether photovoltaic (PV) or concentrating solar power (CSP), critical performance metrics must be monitored in real-time, and the health of equipment such as inverters, tracker motors, or heliostat targeting systems, are critical to maintaining constant uptime of the plant. The requirement for highly reliable two-way communications for monitoring and control is easily met with Dust Networks’ industry-proven WSN solutions.

Wireless Sensor Networks for Building Automation

Commercial buildings, office buildings, retail outlets, hotels, hospitals, universities, light industrial buildings, and research centers are increasingly implementing energy-saving programs with building automation systems (BAS), energy management, and security technologies.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks for building automation:

  • Lowers wiring costs (up to 80 percent lower than wired)
  • Lowers labor costs by eliminating cumbersome manual monitoring techniques
  • Accelerates retrofit projects by simplifying adds moves and changes
  • Eliminates costs and constraints associated with rewiring and reconfiguration

Smart Buildings

With the explosion of sensors in commercial buildings, the underlying communications mechanism between the devices and the control system are increasingly based on wireless mesh networking—thanks to the dramatic cost reduction, reliability and low power requirements enabled by wireless mesh networks. In addition, the convergence of Web-enabled IT systems and all other BAS including voice, video, data, security, environmental management, and maintenance systems are helping fuel the shift.

Wireless Sensor Networks for Remote Monitoring

Large-scale environmental monitoring requires an extremely reliable, scalable and resilient wireless network solution that can be deployed densely, run on batteries for an extended length of time, and operate in the harshest of environments.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks in remote monitoring:

  • Minimizes need for battery replacement with ultra-low power consumption for extended battery life
  • Reduces maintenance by ensuring high reliability
  • Enables coverage in difficult terrain and large spatial areas
  • Endures harsh weather conditions

Environmental Monitoring

In the case of CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society) in collaboration with Roger C. Bales, UC Merced, and Steven D. Glaser, UC Berkeley, they needed to measure and report on conditions of the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Snow information is used to anticipate droughts and floods, to equably allocate water resources between the public and private sectors of the economy, and is key to agricultural planning. In addition to snow depth, they also needed to measure solar radiation, relative humidity, soil moisture, matric potential, and temperature. Read the case study here.

The SmartMesh products underpinning this water management solution provide long battery life, intelligent networking features and detailed network statistics for optimizing sensor placement that allow CITRIS to efficiently gather real-time water content data from the snow pack, using hundreds of sensors distributed throughout a remote, mountainous and environmentally harsh region.


Wireless Sensor Networks Monitor Transportation

Wireless sensor networks allow cities, rail systems and logistics operations to cost-effectively gather information and use that field data to develop applications that lead to cost savings and ultimately improved quality of life.

Benefits of wireless sensor networking for transportation applications:

  • Enables new applications by eliminating need for wires
  • Improves safety by automating processes previously managed manually
  • Reduces costs associated with maintenance with greater reliability and extended battery life
  • Minimizes deployment time and costs with easy installation and no cabling

Smart Parking

Reliable, easy to deploy, and built with the priorities of cities and citizens in mind, Streetline Networks is leading the way in the development of intelligent infrastructure solutions for urban areas. The Streetline solution is a complete information system designed specifically for applications in urban resource management. The platform integrates ultra low power sensing with Web-based solutions that optimize the use of city assets, in this case parking spaces.  Read the case study here.

At the heart of the solution is the SmartMesh-enabled ultra low power vehicle sensor. These pavement sensors work by detecting a disturbance in the magnetic field from a vehicle parked in a space. Data hops from sensor to sensor until it makes its way to a gateway, a small box sitting on top of a streetlamp or a traffic-signaling box.

Leading the revolution in relieving congestion on city streets, solutions like Streetline's will have a cascade of positive effects on transportation the economy and the environment.

Airport Fuel Tank Farms

Fuel costs represent up to 30 percent of airline operating expenses. Also, any problems in fueling operations can lead to flight delays and cost overruns. This makes effective management and efficient distribution of fuel supplies at large airports an industry priority. TDG Technologies’ SmartHAWK Wireless Monitoring Solution is helping airport facility teams to proactively maintain critical fueling systems well within normal operating specifications to avoid mechanical sparking and fuel ignition, and to maintain fuel quality. SmartHAWK Wireless Sensors measure pump vibration and temperature to help airport operation teams to avoid pump failures and pump fires.

SmartHAWK sensors integrate Linear Technology’s SmartMesh IP embedded mesh products to wirelessly communicate in hazardous environments. Furthermore, SmartHAWK
systems help increase efficiency and lower operating costs by enabling a more data-driven decision-making process. Read the case study here.

Rail Car Monitoring:

Wireless Sensor Networks are used in a variety of transportation applications today—for example freight car monitoring--to capture real-time data, provide analysis and alert locomotive crews when a failure is detected. Data collection includes wheel bearing temperature trends, manifest verification, car drop-off location and time, and freight condition. Notification occurs when a failure is detected, weight, vibration or speed is exceeded, or a car has been tampered with. These WAN deployments are expected to save millions of dollars in transportation costs annually.

Other Applications

The information you need is all around you. The challenge is to access it in a reliable, cost-effective way. Dust Networks SmartMesh wireless sensor networking enables a new class of wireless monitoring and control solutions, saving time and money on installation, providing greater flexibility and reaching deeper into operations than possible with a wired system. Dust Networks has overcome the reliability, power consumption, and complexity barriers inherent in legacy point-to-point wireless systems, allowing our customers to offer wireless sensing solutions that satisfy both the technical and economic requirements of the most demanding environments.

Customers around the world are building innovative wireless sensing solutions.

Water Management:

Utility companies today are facing mounting operational and maintenance costs as a result of the aging pipeline infrastructure throughout the country. Leaks, ruptures and blockages in water supply pipelines cost millions of dollars per year, yet monitoring and repairing this underground infrastructure presents a severe challenge. WSNs can be used to detect, localize and quantify bursts, leaks and other anomalies in water transmission pipelines and control valves.

Irrigation Monitoring and Control:

The need for water use efficiency is driving heavy demand for new water-saving irrigation techniques. Sensors are used to monitor soil moisture, water tension, and electrical conductivity, and provide information to growers about growing conditions such as soil, climate and crop status. Decision support systems are available to automate control and take action based upon water availability and crop needs