—The fundamental aim of monitoring is to identify abnormalities in the observed phenomena and allow inference of the likely cause. Faced with the common problems of spatially irregular sensor distribution and intermittent sensor measurement availability, key to fulfilling the monitoring aim is filling in the spatiotemporal gaps in the data. While wireless sensor networks (WSNs) technology, combined with microelectromechanical systems availability potentially offer sensing solutions for a variety of application domains, in the context of monitoring applications a conceptual shift is needed from currently available, point-measurement-based “sense-and-send” systems toward the provision of phenomena field representations, in real time, enabling effective visualization of the spatiotemporal patterns. This paper argues the case for a generic, rapid prototyping framework for end-to-end sensing systems that support the approach of providing field representations for visualization. A formal approach to framework development was taken, ensuring that resulting instrumentation systems are well specified. Both the framework development and its evaluation are linked to the full cycle of requirements setting, design, and deployment of a prototype instrumentation system for aerospace applications—specifically, health monitoring of a gas turbine engine. The field monitoring application prototyping (FieldMAP) framework supports multimodal sensing, provides a number of opportunities for data processing and information extraction, caters for monitoring of the instrumentation health, offers a modular field-mapping design component and allows for real-time phenomena visualization, data and information logging, and postanalysis. Experience with the FieldMAP has shown that sophisticated and robust prototypes can be developed in a short period of time.
- Aircraft instrumentation
- wireless sensor networks (WSNs)