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2/9/2005 11:27:16 PM
Crossbow Announces 5 Finalists for 2005 Smart Dust Challenge

Crossbow Technology, Inc. (, the leading end-to-end solutions supplier in wireless sensor networks and the largest manufacturer of Smart Dust wireless sensors, announced today the five finalists for its 2005 Smart Dust Challenge. The Crossbow Smart Dust Challenge represents the best executable ideas for wireless sensor networking that demonstrate how it is used, programmed and deployed to positively impact society. The $10,000 grand-prize winner will be announced at the Second International TinyOS Technology Exchange Feb. 11 at the University of Berkeley.

Crossbow has a 10-year history of delivering sensors for applications and industries with the most stringent performance requirements in the harshest of environments. Crossbow's wireless mesh networking products, also known as Smart Dust, are being used to improve agricultural efficiency and growth, monitor and secure industrial plants and buildings, save environmentally sensitive lands, preserve national landmarks, mitigate earthquake and fire damages, and secure and protect the nation's natural resources. Crossbow is also a leading supplier of inertial sensor systems for aviation, land and marine applications and other instrumentation sensors.

The Smart Dust Challenge judges included:

  • California State Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach, whose work focuses on giving people tools to protect their privacy and their pocketbook, investing in California's natural resources and its children, and helping people gain access to and make sense of state government.
  • Vinton G. Cerf, senior vice president of technology strategy for MCI, and widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet" as the co-designer with Robert Kahn of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet.
  • Gary Morgenthaler, general partner with Morgenthaler Ventures, which has worked with outstanding entrepreneurs to build world-class companies for more than 35 years.
  • Two editors from Sensors magazine (, the only publication dedicated to meeting the information needs of design and production engineers involved in the design, application, and implementation of sensor systems: Stephanie vL Henkel, executive editor; and Melanie Martella, features/products editor.

The entries were judged on: impact to society; originality of concept; commercial value/benefit to user; ingenuity of bringing concept to deployment; and completeness of demonstration (includes programming, packaging, clarity of presentation, efficiency, and thoroughness of idea and execution).

The five Smart Dust Challenge finalists, in alphabetical order by team leader, are:

  • Mat Kotowsky and Hasan Ozer of Northwestern University and Civil Data Systems, Evanston, Ill.
  • Dave Parsons of H2Options, Inc., Oakton, Va.
  • Derek Slovin, Dr. Murat Alanyali, Dr. Venkatesh Saligrama and Lyndon Pham of Boston University, Boston, Mass.
  • Zhen Song, Zhongmin Wang, Pengyu Chen and Anisha Arora of Utah State University, Logan, Utah
  • Claude and Brian Wiblin of RadSurvey Systems, Crownsville, Md.

The applications included ideas for using Crossbow's wireless mesh networking sensor Motes for surveillance of the long-term structural health of critical infrastructure components, such as bridges, tunnels, buildings, pipelines, etc. Another team used a Belief Propagation algorithm with the Motes for habitat and environmental monitoring. A third application idea was to merge Crossbow sensor Motes with robotic technology to diffuse contamination and monitoring, such as characterizing and removing poisonous fog. Another finalist used the Motes in a monitoring system to detect and repeat the existence of leaky water fixtures in multi-unit housing complexes. A fifth idea was to use Crossbow wireless Motes to provide new visual aids that show on a map the precise location and level of radioactive contamination.

All of the entries are based on the TinyOS operating system ( Crossbow's open architecture is based on TinyOS, which enables highly intelligent multi-sensing devices to dynamically and reliably self-organize to efficiently capture and send detailed physical data anywhere, anytime.

Finalists to Present at TinyOS Technology Exchange

Crossbow is holding a two-day Smart Dust training on TinyOS on Feb. 9 and 10, 2005, at its new corporate headquarters in San Jose, Calif. The next day, Feb. 11, the Smart Dust Challenge finalists will present at the Second International TinyOS Technology Exchange in Sibley Hall at the University of California-Berkeley, where the grand-prize winner will be announced.

The Smart Dust Challenge grand-prize winner will win $10,000. Second prize is $2,000. Third prize is $1,000. Fourth and fifth prizes will win $500 each.

The Technology Exchange will provide a forum for researchers, developers, educators, companies and users to learn from one another about important recent developments within the TinyOS embedded network systems area and to participate in shaping paths of future development. There will be in-depth presentations on TinyOS 2.0, new 802.15.4 platforms, key network services, full-scale applications, as well as the awarding of the Crossbow Smart Dust Challenge Grand Prize.

To register for the Crossbow Smart Dust training, please visit Or e-mail Susan Lee at or call her at 408-965-3308.

To register or for more information about the TinyOS Technology Exchange, please visit

Other Headlines from Crossbow Technology, Inc ...
 - MEMSIC Completes Crossbow Technology Acquisition
 - Wireless Sensor Water-Conservation Project Wins $10,000 Grand Prize in 2005 Crossbow Smart Dust Challenge
 - Crossbow Announces 5 Finalists for 2005 Smart Dust Challenge
 - Crossbow Announces New Smart Dust Training Feb. 9-10, Participation in Second International TinyOS Technology Exchange Feb. 11

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 - Wireless Sensor Water-Conservation Project Wins $10,000 Grand Prize in 2005 Crossbow Smart Dust Challenge
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