24 Nov - 8 Dec 2016

Future
Finders

An exhibition by Monash Engineering

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Natural Disasters

Problem

How can we respond to natural disasters in remote places more efficiently?

Rapidly deploying large scale semi-portable lighting systems for use in, disaster relief, art installations and temporary housing is difficult, time-consuming and costly. Conversely fixed lighting installations are becoming “smarter” and more versatile.

Solution

A networked modular lighting system that also acts as a communication channel.

We believe in creating smart and portable lighting for a brighter future. The design is based around inexpensive WiFi modules which provide a very easy to use framework to develop on. As we are using WiFi we can use cheap off the shelf hardware to test our mesh networking algorithm on. The lights are configured as a mesh node that is capable of generating messages as well as relaying a received message onto other lights in the mesh, this allows the lights to be spread out over very large distances. This mesh further allows for a self-healing network, with multiple redundant paths and on-the-fly redistribution of nodes. For each of the three channels in the light there are three separate constant current switching converters, these give a very smooth and flicker free light output which is a great improvement on what is currently widely used. The switching converters also give high efficiency over a wide input range making it work very well for a range of battery applications. The light is designed around a readily available and standard lighting fixture that is designed with harsh environments in mind this makes it very cost effective as a custom housing is not required and the existing mass production equipment can be leveraged keeping the unit cost low.

Team members

  • Peter Bell (DD with Science)
  • Ross Hogan under grad 3rd year
  • Daniel Ryan post grad
  • Jason under grad 3rd