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Sensor Networks (RFID) and Complex Manufacturing Systems Monitoring Research (COMMSENS) lab


About the lab:

Established in 2004 at the Advanced Technology Research Center (ATRC) of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK, the mission of the lab is to study the principles of monitoring real world complex systems (including various complex manufacturing machines, processes and enterprises) by harnessing information from a network of wired and wireless (e.g. RFID) sensors                                                                                                   


The COMMSENS Lab (ATRC 236) is equipped with the sensing, measurement and computational resources to pursue the following industrially relevant R&D activities:

1.       Quality and integrity monitoring of complex machines and processes including precision machining and other manufacturing operations

2.       Sensor-based health monitoring of complex structures for condition-based maintenance and Integrity assurance

3.       Characterization of nonlinear stochastic dynamics underlying in large complex systems including various manufacturing machine operations, smart material and structural systems, large supply and transportation networks, and the Internet.

Accomplishments and Awards:

  • The lab efforts have received support from NSF, CELDi (the nationís largest Industry-University consortium focused on logistics), General Motors, FAA, to the tune of $0.9M during 2004-05

  • A new course focusing on RFID system applications in manufacturing and engineering systems (one of the firsts of its kind in Industrial Engineering) offered in spring 2005

  • A systematic statistical approach for experimental design of an RFID system developed. The research has yielded new principles for harnessing information on the complex (nonlinear and stochastic) nature of the process underlying signals from RFID and other sensor networks

  • A patent submitted for a new technology to improve readability in metallic environment

  • The research has yielded 28 journal papers and 20+ publications in refereed conference proceedings apart from being the basis for 3 PhD theses

  • Currently 16 students including 3 PhD, 5 MS thesis, 2 MS creative component, and 3 undergrad students take part in the lab activities (these include 3 members from underrepresented groups)

COMMSENS lab facilities:

Spread over 1000 sq. feet of space at Advanced Technology Research Center, it comprises of multiple antennae and readers from Alien and AWID, and 200+ passive tags of various form factors and other specifications. Information from an RFID reader is processed on Linux servers that house the SUN JAVA RFID Application Suite. Oracle 10i is being used as the database to store information collected from our experiments. New experimental test bays with the latest Gen 2 specific hardware and software are being set up for future applications. The latest addition to the list of RFID facilities is 4 Gen 2 Antennas, 1 Gen 2 reader and 200 Gen 2 tags (with advanced middleware software)



DAQ Setup

1.       4 high sampling-rate multi-channel NI-DAQ Boards with amplifiers and connectors.

2.       Sensors including Load cells, Thermocouples, Accelerometers (from Kistler), and Acoustic Emission sensors (from Physical Acoustics)



1.       A networked cluster of computers from HP including two multiprocessor accelerated graphics

2.       Machines Printers and completely networked setup


Click here to know more about RFID capabilities of our lab

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