While often associated with home automation, the new ZigBee wireless data standard is making fast inroads into industrial, military, and aerospace applications. By supplying highly reliable, wireless mesh networking at very low cost, ZigBee enables improvements to traditional sensing and monitoring applications, and enables new applications that would otherwise be impractical.

Consider two starkly different examples of ZigBee deployments that illustrate its flexibility:

  • In a weapons storage facility management application, ZigBee-enabled sensors attached to missiles could provide close-range readings for status tracking. These systems can run on the same batteries for years without replacement.
  • In a homeland security application, first responders could quickly distribute ZigBee-enabled sensors to detect the presence of NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) agents. The sensors could transmit data immediately and repeatedly to a command station through a self-forming mesh network.
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