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nSHIELD project proposes a layered architecture to provide intrinsic SPD features and functionalities to embedded systems. In this layered architecture workpackage 3 is responsible for the node layer that represents the lower level of the architecture, a basement constituted of real embedded devices on which the entire project will grow. Some SPD technologies that will be introduced with this workpackage are the extension and evolution of the results obtained with pSHIELD project while, in most cases, start to be investigated in nSHIELD itself.

As already outlined in the TA, workpackage 3 aims to create an Intelligent ES HW/SW Platform that consists of three different kinds of Intelligent ES Nodes: nano node, micro/personal node and power node. These three categories of embedded systems will represent the basic components of the lower part of an SPD Pervasive System that will cover the possible requirements of several market areas: from field data acquisition, to transportation, to personal space, to home environment, to public infrastructures, etc.

This deliverable is focused on the assessment of the SPD technologies that will be studied and developed in work package 3 and that are functional to the nSHIELD SPD applications (Workpackage 7). These technologies will be implemented in the prototypes that will be developed in workpackages 6 and 7 and that will be part of the nSHIELD scenarios demonstrators.

1.1The technology assessment

The objective of the SPD node (SPDN) technology assessment (TA) is to verify if the SPDN technologies addressed in the nSHIELD project and constrained by the requirements and specifications in D2.2 are fulfilling the needs for the selected application scenarios, described in details in WP7, that drive the identification of the intelligent Embedded System (ES) nodes, which will be developed for the demonstrator. This technology assessment for SPDNs will provide guidelines for the SPDN design as input for other WP3 deliverables as well as for D2.6 that will consider additional requirements proposed in D3.1.

The SPDN technology assessment will validate the nSHIELD node technologies by considering

  • Compliance with the WP2 requirements and specifications documents

  • Maturity and availability of the SPDN technologies used for platform integration, validation and demonstration and later on for the application demonstrators.

This document will report the current available SPDN technologies, HW and SW module able to implement the SPD functionalities required for each approved technology. Advancements beyond the current State of Art (SoA) will be addressed by identifying the technology gaps that required new solutions for achieving the nSHIELD objectives. These technology gaps will help to identify the risks and their impacts on the design phase.

Conclusions are confirming that the accessed SPDN technologies satisfy the nSHIELD requirements and specifications and that no constraints are imposed on the design of SPDNs.

1.2Nodes definitions

nSHIELD SPD architecture follows very closely the architecture introduced in pSHIELD project and is based on four layers:

  • Node Layer,

  • Network Layer,

  • Middleware Layer,

  • Overlay Layer.

The node layer represents the basement of the nSHIELD SPD Pervasive System and provides the basic components in terms of ES. The node layer consists of three different categories of Embedded Nodes which can be considered three node levels of increasing complexity, features availability and computational power:

  • nano Node,

  • micro/Personal Node,

  • power Node.

The definition of these three categories follows the one introduced in pSHIELD.
Nano Node level typically consists of small and resource limited devices, both in terms of hardware and software (i.e. wireless sensors). Because of their massive distribution in the environment, nano nodes could become an interesting target for attacks and hacking.
Micro/Personal Node level consists of devices richer than the Nano Nodes, in terms of hardware and software resources, network access capabilities, mobility, interfaces, sensing capabilities etc. The specific functions of a Micro/Personal Node are generally referred to:

  • secure network access capabilities,

  • monitoring and sensing,

  • interfacing.

Power Node level represents the first level of massive data elaboration of the SPD pervasive system, with the peculiarity that the computing power is provided directly on the field.

The classification of the nodes in three different classes is provided with more details in the following table. The table specifies the node hardware, software, networking capability, mobility, interfaces and sensing capabilities that are used as criteria for the classification of the nodes.

Table – Characteristics of pSHIELD nodes







extendable, personal/mobile board,  

typical data center, server board


not changeable (sense and send)

process (collect and store)

decision making, (java)

ontologies, reasoning

network access

through gateway

direct wireless/mobile

fixed (backend)






fixed or wireless

network and usb-like



one or more sensors, e.g. light, temperature, position

inbuilt sensors


Some examples of nodes that can be classified in the identified categories are:

  • Power node: datacenter for ontologies and reasoning;

  • Personal node: mobile phone, embedded Linux system;

  • Micro-node: SunSpot;

  • Nano: GPS unit, wireless sensor mote.

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