The goal of this thesis is to provide information on cubic inch autonomous sensor devices otherwise known as Commercial-off-the-Shelf Dust (COTS Dust). COTS Dust is capable of sensing and responding to environmental changes and communicating to other devices. This thesis is the compilation of my experience and knowledge in the design of COTS Dust and can be considered a guide for those who wish to design similar systems. Ultimately, its my wish that material provided within contains enough information for those unfamiliar with this area of research to be able to design a working COTS Dust of their own in a relatively short time frame.
COTS Dust was originally designed for Smart Dust, an ongoing project whose goal is to make cubic millimeter autonomous sensor devices. In the introduction, I briefly describe how the design of Smart Dust necessitated the development of these larger prototypes, COTS Dust.
In section 2.0, I describe the subsystems requisite to the design of a fully autonomous system: power supplies, microprocessor choices, sensor suites, and communication possibilities. In so doing, I tried to point out the important design parameters to designing a reliable low power system.
In section 3.0, I describe all the devices I designed and built. To give the reader an idea of the functionality, each section describes a demonstration of the devices capabilities. Here, I point out the interesting design challenges that come about from making a fully operable system.
In section 5.0, I conjecture about future COTS Dust designs: marketplace trends and ongoing research. Lastly in the appendix, I include circuit board schematics and lists of materials for most of the COTS Dust designs. Hopefully the technical information will serve as a starting platform for designing one’s own COTS Dust.
David M. Auslander
David E. Culler
Publication date: 
December 31, 2000
Publication type: 
Master's Thesis
Hollar, S. E. (2000). COTS Dust. United States: University of California, Berkeley.

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