The use of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G and GPRS communications is very common in the industrial world. These are robust systems which are currently easy to obtain for industrial temperature ranges. Another advantage is their interoperability with existing commercial systems.
One example is this design, into which we incorporate a GPRS modem with an ARM9 and Linux processor, which makes it possible for us to use Linux libraries to make connections similar to those made via the Ethernet. This enabled the application which was created to use the Ethernet connection to send its data to the server, and with an additional program the dataflow is automatically redirected to the GPRS modem in a way which is transparent to applications in the event of a local network outage.
Another example of how this is used is this solar power plant monitoring equipment, which makes it possible to gather information from the facility’s inverters and meters and periodically sends the data to a server using a GPRS modem. In this case the modem is operated via an ARM7 uC with a single RTOS. Another of this equipment’s advantages is that it can be updated remotely, without any need to travel to the facility.
In this other example we use a chip which also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications and is controlled by a processor with Linux. One of its advantages is that the application can be programmed and debugged on a PC which has Wi-Fi and BT and then compiled on this platform.