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A cyber physical system (CPS) typically contains a large number of devices that are mainly powered by batteries and designed to operate for a long period of time. To achieve sustainable CPS, I propose an innovative sensor structure “EcoSense” to realize a hardware-based on-demand sensing mechanism that effectively eliminates energy wastage when sensors are in sleep or standby mode. Leveraging this technology, I further design a self-sustained water-quality sensing system that is powered by renewable bio-energy generated from microbial fuel cells (MFC). To make use of the limited amount energy provided by MFC, I design a power management module to accumulate energy when the input voltage is as low as 0.33V. The entire water-quality sensing system is implemented and evaluated in a local stream for more than 3 months. From field experiments, it is confirmed that the system can reliably collect water quality data and is robust to environment changes. Finally, I will present my future research by outlining the challenges and opportunities in designing cyber physical systems for water sustainability.
Dr. Qing Yang is a RightNow Technologies Assistant Professor in the Gianforte School of Computing at Montana State University. He received his Ph.D degree in Computer Science from Auburn University in 2011. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Nankai University and Harbin Institute of Technology, China, in 2003 and 2005, respectively. His research interests include cyber physical systems, Internet of vehicles, and online social networks. He has published more than 60 papers and received about 2M grants from National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and Montana DoT.