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Moritz Strübe, "Dynamische Re-Programmierung von Sensorknoten zur Laufzeit," Master's Thesis, Department of Computer Science, Friedrich–Alexander University of Erlangen–Nuremberg (FAU), August 2008. (Advisors: Falko Dressler and Rüdiger Kapitza)


When considering software updates in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) a homogeneous network is presumed most often. Such a homogeneous network consists of identical motes, which run the same software, further on normally the purpose of software updates in WSNs is to fix bugs or add new functions. In many situations, e.g. for building monitoring, it is reasonable to equip the motes with different sensors. This leads to different software versions on different motes. Further more most systems must be restarted after a software update and loose all data which have not explicitly been saved on non volatile memory. This makes it difficult to react flexible on events. This Study starts with examining different possibilities to update the software running on the motes at runtime. Also popular operating systems for micro controllers are examined and compared in terms of their suitability for software updates at runtime. Afterwards a module support for the BTnut operating system is implemented. It allows to load modules on to the node and execute them. The implementation of the Named Memory, which is comparable to shared memory, allows to save data in RAM using a name. Using this name, the data can then be accessed even after a reset. To make the use of theses features more simple, the features were abstracted and are provided as a library. To demonstrate the implemented features, a kernel was developed which allows to load, execute and stop a module. The module is specifically created for the installed kernel and copied onto the mote without user interaction. In addition the module is used to demonstrate the features of the Named Memory. The presented solutions allows to load software onto a mote at runtime without having to restart the node. It is also possible to update the kernel, which requires a restart, without loosing data which was saved in RAM.

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Moritz Strübe

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    author = {Str{\"{u}}be, Moritz},
    title = {{Dynamische Re-Programmierung von Sensorknoten zur Laufzeit}},
    advisor = {Dressler, Falko and Kapitza, R{\"{u}}diger},
    institution = {Department of Computer Science},
    location = {Erlangen, Germany},
    month = {8},
    school = {Friedrich--Alexander University of Erlangen--Nuremberg (FAU)},
    type = {Master's Thesis},
    year = {2008},

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