Nordic-powered multi-sensor platform monitors device movement, environmental conditions, and air quality

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Sensry’s Kallisto SY021-PCB module uses Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC for sensor configuration and nPM1100 PMIC for power management

German company Sensry has launched a new family member of its Kallisto® universal multi-sensor platform. The product can be used to monitor all intrinsic movements of devices as well as a wide range of environmental conditions and air quality.  

The ‘Kallisto® SY021-PCB’ multi-sensor module extends the capabilities of its predecessor with local sensor data storage, which enables long-term device monitoring without using the Cloud. Other new features include a high-frequency three-axis vibration sensor to perform vibration measurements in the range of several kHz—for example to monitor the condition of high-speed electric motors—and a MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) microphone.

nRF52840 SoC runs Zephyr-based multi-sensor firmware 

The 54 by 22 mm module combines Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 SoC with a set of sensors and firmware, simplifying the configuration, installation, and operation of the platform. The nRF52840 runs the Zephyr-based multi-sensor firmware, which is used to configure the different sensors and to control various streaming and logging options. 

A spectrum of 20 measurands (quantities intended to be measured) can be simultaneously detected at configurable sensitivities and sampling rates, and processed via the on-board nRF52840 SoC’s 64 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU). The SoC performs as the Kallisto® SY021-PCB’s application processor and supports the Zephyr real time operating system (RTOS). The configurability and performance of Zephyr make it a best-in-class low power RTOS for power-efficient wireless SoCs like Nordic’s nRF52 Series. The nRF52840 is also used to retrieve and preprocess sensor data before it is streamed via Nordic SoC-enabled Bluetooth® LE connectivity to a gateway or an industrial PC.   

The Kallisto® sensor platform can be easily tailored to any kind of Industrial IoT (IIoT) application through a hardware abstraction layer enabling interaction with the module and its features. This also gives the option to easily adapt the sensor set, if customers need to alter the measurands. Applications and use cases for the sensor platform include Industrial IoT (IIoT), predictive maintenance, smart wearables, building and home automation, track and trace, beacons. These applications can be implemented using the Kallisto® SY021-PCB as a standalone device, in mesh networks or connected to a gateway/Cloud platform.

The main reason we selected Nordic’s nRF52840 for Kallisto® is the extremely power efficient implementation, but also the available Bluetooth front end, as well as the Zephyr RTOS support
Dirk Behrens, Head of Sales and Marketing, Sensry

We target mainly applications which need several sensor values to be measured and then results calculated out of these different measures,” explains Dirk Behrens, Head of Sales and Marketing, Sensry. “Kallisto® combines the measurements of any movement [nine-axis] with measurements of environmental conditions [temperature, humidity, pressure, light, sound] and measurements of air quality [CO2, VOC, AIQ]. Therefore, applications like condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, but also environmental sensing or infrastructure monitoring—for example, smart cities—benefit the most.

The main reason we selected Nordic’s nRF52840 for Kallisto® is the extremely power efficient implementation, but also the available Bluetooth front end, as well as the Zephyr RTOS support, the very well designed Bluetooth driver, the many available examples, and the excellent software support,” Behrens says.

nPM1100 PMIC provides sophisticated power management 

The module also integrates sophisticated power management through the Nordic nPM1100 dedicated power management IC (PMIC). This allows the multi-sensor to be powered by USB or a connected battery, which can be charged by USB as well or via wireless charging (Qi) as well. 

“We selected the Nordic nPM1100 PMIC due to its high integration with the battery charger and all required DC/DC converters,” he adds. “In addition, we have been able to rely on the excellent design-in support, the Nordic DevZone forum, and the availability of direct, competent discussion partners at Nordic.”