| Carl-Friedrich-Gauß-Faculty | Computer Science

PotatoBox - Miniature-Temperature boxes to study temperature effects on WSNs

WSNs that are deployed outdoors might be exposed to harsh environmental conditions. To enable convenient studies of the impact of temperatures on WSNs, we developed a box that allows the control of the temperature. In anticipation on climatic chambers, this boxes allow the emulation of given temperature values.

Current state

The intention of this work in progress is to evaluate real world temperature conditions. In general climatic chambers can be used to control environmental conditions. However, those devices are expensive and are therefore not suitable to test distributed systems such as WSNs. For this reason PotatoBox was developed to strike a balance between costs and functionalities.


Peltier Elements

The PotatoBox relies on peltier elements that are wired with a H-bridge. Thus, it is possible to change the voltage reversal electronically and both cooling down and heating up is achieved with one component.


Cost Efficiency

Compared to climatic chambers, a PotatoBox costs far less. With total costs of about 60$ it is possible to deploy several boxes. Hence, the temperature trace of an entire WSN can be emulated.


Convenient Evaluations

PotatoBox offers enough space to examine diverse sensor nodes. Each box is equipped with a raspberry pi to monitor UART outputs of the devices under test via ethernet. Moreover, the pi can be used to control the temperature of PotatoBox remotely. Thus, it is possible to set-up severl experiments or reply temperature traces that have been recorded.


A short summary of the features is listed below:

  • Low costs (about 60$ each)
  • Controllable temperature (by hand or remotely via ethernet)
  • Two peltier elements with a power of 60W each
  • Seamless cooling and heating
  • Temperature range of about 5°C to 70°C

Project members at IBR

Name EMail Phone Room
Dr. Ulf Kulau kulau[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913290 110
Dr. Felix Büsching buesching[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913289 132
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars Wolf wolf[[at]]ibr.cs.tu-bs.de +49-531-3913288 138

last changed 2016-04-20, 10:19 by Dr. Ulf Kulau