iCUBE Sensors Application Laboratory


Sensors LabThe iCUBE Sensors Application Laboratory was established in August 2004 at Iowa State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to pursue fundamental research on wireless and sensor networks and their applications. The lab has a sensor network test bed (built with Crossbow Motes and Acroname Garcia Robots) and a WiFi test bed (built with Dell laptops, PDAs, WiFi cards of various brands, and MadWifi device driver). These test beds provide us with the flexibility to create and test various wireless and sensor networking prototype systems. The wireless and sensor networking devices in the lab also have been used in various courses, including:

  • EE 423: Communication Systems Laboratory
  • CprE 546: Wireless and Sensor Networks
  • CprE 454/ComS 554: Distributed and Network Operating Systems


  • 3018 ECpE Building Addition, Iowa State University


The iCUBE Sensors Application Laboratory has the following wireless sensor networking devices from Crossbow:

  • ~ 110 MICA2 motes
  • ~ 25 MICAz motes
  • ~ 110 TelosB motes

The lab also has 4 Acroname Garcia Robots (with embedded Stargate processor boards) and 10 standalone Stargate boards. Stargate is a high-performance processing platform designed for sensor, signal processing, control, and wireless sensor networking applications. Stargate is based on Intel’s XScale processor used in today’s most powerful hand-held computers including the Compaq iPAQ and the Dell Axim. The Stargate processor board is preloaded with a Linux distribution and basic drivers and is compatible with the Crossbow’s MICA motes.

Other equipment in the lab includes:

  • 5 Dell latitude laptops
  • 8 Linux PDAs of various brands
  • Tens of WiFi cards of various brands

Faculty Members

  • Daji Qiao
  • Srikanta Tirthapura
  • Yong Guan
  • Arun K. Somani
  • Wensheng Zhang (Dept. of Computer Science)

Current Research Topics

  • Tamper-proof and Privacy Preserving Schemes for Smart Cards (Zhang and Qiao)
  • Energy Replenishment for Wireless Sensor Networks (Zhang and Qiao)
  • Secure Sensor Data Management (Zhang and Qiao)
  • Distributed Algorithms for Sensor-Aided Directories to Mobile Objects (Tirthapura and Qiao)
  • Application of Wireless Sensor Networks in Power Transmission Line Surveillance (Somani)
  • Application of Wireless Sensor Networks in Power Electric System Asset Management (Qiao)
  • Wireless Sensor Networking Security (Guan)

Research Sponsors

  • National Science Foundation
  • Information Infrastructure Institute (iCUBE)
  • ISU Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development