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Capillary Network prototype

The term Capillary Network refers to an infrastructure which realises a dedicated network that connects many devices like meters, actuators and sensors. It is especially deployed in areas which cannot be reached by existing telecommunication networks such as sewers and basements where meters and actuators are often installed by utilities.  

A Capillary Network is developed for the ALMANAC platform to achieve the necessary infrastructure to link sensors and actuators and connect to them via a gateway. Partner Telecom Italia, who is leading the work on the network infrastructure, has defined a first adaptation of the Capillary Network and demonstrated the concept using water sensors. 

The Capillary Network is composed of a transmitter component (TX) as shown in figure 1 and a Concentrator/Gateway as shown in figure 2.

To be compliant with standards suggested by the Municipality of Torino and adopted by the utilities, the prototype includes the ETSI M2M standard and the Wireless M-Bus protocols.

The ETSI M2M Network Service Capability Layer (NSCL) platform provides a standard way to manage devices and data according to the ETSI M2M standards.  ETSI standardised the definition of a M2M Platform and issued a second release of the specifications at the end of December 2013.

In the prototype, the Capillary Network is connected to real smart water sensors as shown in Figure 1 measuring flow and pH so that real data are sent to the Almanac Smart City Platform. The setup includes a water pump and a water loop enabling the meter to measure the current water consumption.

Embedded in the TX component are two super capacitors, which are directly powered by a micro turbine, as shown in Figure 3, This is an interesting solution of energy harvesting that can be used for water metering services, eliminating the need for batteries in the transmitters. Consequently no battery replacement work or costs are incurred.


The ALMANAC project is co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609081, objective ICT-2013.1.4 'A reliable, smart and secure Internet of Things for Smart Cities'. Duration: 1st September 2013 to 31st August 2016.

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