Overview of FireBug


The FireBug system is composed of a network of GPS-enabled, wireless thermal sensors, a control layer for processing sensor data, and a command center for interactively communicating with the sensor network. Each of these layers are independent of the others, communicating through well-defined interfaces. These web pages document technical and administrative aspects of the FireBug project. FireBug is part of the ITR Fire Project. ITR (Information Technology Research) is a National Science Foundation initiative focused on innovative areas of science, engineering and education with a strong information technology component. Details about the NSF ITR project may be found here.

The FireBug project is hosted at

FireBug sensor network

FireBugs are GPS-enabled, wireless thermal sensors, or motes. The FireBug network self-organizes into edge-hub configurations. Hub motes act as as base stations, with the following responsibilities:

  1. receiving sample data from any mote,
  2. sending commands to any mote.

Enabling such a network requires the motes to self-configure.

GPS capabilities are explained here.

Details of the sensor architecture include packet layouts, routing diagrams, etc.


Each FireBug consists of a mote/fireboard pair. The motes provide power, radio communications, and processing capability for data collected by the sensor. The Crossbow MTS420CA, or fireboard, provides the sensing hardware. The mote and fireboard interface with a 52 pin connector.

Programming FireBug

FireBug is programmed using the TinyOS embedded operating system, developed at UC Berkeley. More information may be found here.

Controlling the network

The controller The initial controller will be a personal computer running the Apache web server interfaced with MySQL using PHP.

FireBug Command Center

The FireBug Command Center provides user interaction for controlling the FireBug network and displays real time changes in the network.
Schematic of FireBug System
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Last Updated: $Date: 2004/08/03 01:37:31 $ by $Author: karimushu $.