Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fonseca, Benedito

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Electrical Engineering


In a world dependent on technology, data can be an important asset when applying for any sort of funding or resources. Our goal was to create a scalable, low cost, low maintenance mesh network platform that can be paired with sensors to allow for easy data collection from a geographical area. This will give a geographical area, like a park or hiking trail, the ability to track how many people are using the area and facilities on a daily basis. For each node, we used a combination of three infrared sensors to detect the presence of humans, a ZigBee device to allow the nodes to communicate, an Atmega328p microcontroller for the brains, a lead acid battery for power, one solar panel to not only charge the battery but also extend the life of the battery, and a charge controller to effectively charge the battery. Everything except the solar panel will be inside of a plastic enclosure, with the solar panel mounted separately. The enclosure and its contents will then be mounted in the desired location and wirelessly connected to the other nodes in the area. There will be a base station for all of the nodes in a given area to send information back to, in order for the data to be processed and finally used. All three of us enjoy hiking trails and parks; therefore, having the opportunity to give geographical areas a way to obtain data on how many people enjoy their services is something we all find very rewarding. It is our way of giving back to these areas, and to help them prosper even longer.


75 pages




Northern Illinois University

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