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JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 31, ISSUE 2, AUGUST2015

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Microcontroller Based Remote Sensing and
Controlling using Cellular Network
Gazi Mohammad Sharif and Khosru Mohammad Salim
Abstract—Remote sensing and controlling play vital roles for communications, especially for far distance and where the
physical contacts are difficult. Microcontroller is a powerful device, which has the computing ability, anda tiny and cheap
microcontroller can be used for various important techniques. On the other hand, cellular networks cover very far distance and
provide smooth connections all over the world. Remote sensing through cellular networks are very effective as objects do not
need to be line of sight and any device can be controlled remotely from one part to another part of the world. In this paper, a
simple microcontroller based remote sensing and controlling technique has been demonstrated using the cellular networks.
Index Terms—Cellular, microcontroller, remote, signal.

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1 INTRODUCTION

R

EMOTE sensing refers to the technique to gather information about any objects by machines whichhave
the wireless contact with the objects under investigation. In many cases, monitoring and controlling are done
simultenouslyafter sensing the remote devices. Electronic
devices play very important roles in modern life. Nowadays all technologies depend on electronic devices. Therefore, it is very important to sense, monitor and control
electronic devices according to the requirements. These
tasks can be done two ways; physically and remotely.
Sensing and controlling remotely is more convinient than
doing physically. Researchers contributed lots of works
around the world to enrich the technology of remote sensing and controlling electronic devices[1,2]. There are
many applications in remote sensing and controlling in
our real lives. We are very familiar with TV remote control devices to operate the televisions. Many other remote
control devices are very popularfor air conditioners, fans,
cars, gates, etc. Sensing temperature remotely has very
good prospects and got much attensions for environemental and other issues [3,4]. Remote sensing can be done
through infrared or any radio frequency. However, many
works are done on remote control system using cellular
networks. Cellular network’s radio frequency is more
effective because it covers huge area. Objects do not need
to beline of sight. To control any electronic devices
through cellular network, there must be cellular infrastructure as well as cellular devices, such as cellular
phones, base transceiver stations etc [5].Many works have
been done on remote control system using cellular networks. As examples, remote control for air vehicle [6], for
water pumping [7] and so on. However, easy to use,
cheap and extra-software free applications are very
preciable especially for the rural area in under developed
————————————————

 Gazi Mohammad Sharif is with Institute of Innovative Science and Technology, Tokai University, Kanagawa, Japan.
 Khosru Mohammad Salim is with Department of Electrical and Electronic
Engineering, Independent University, Bangladesh.

or developing countries.
Cellular technology is one of the most useful technologies
for communication. To operate any electronic device remotely, the target should be within a range of specific
frequency. Cellular network has a specific frequency and
its covering area is very large. Distance is not a matter for
remote procedure through the cellular network. Here, we
implemented a method and did the practical experiment
for microcontroller based remote operation on electronic
devices using the cellular network. The devices are connected through cellular network using the cellular
phones. Sender sends the signal to receiver remotely using the cellular network and receiver detects the signal.
The advantages of our system is low cost and easy to use.
Besides the implemented codes in microcontroller, no
application or software is needed to drive the devices.

2 REMOTE CONTROL USING CELLULAR
NETWORKS
2.1 Remote Control through Cellular Network
As it was mentioned above, remote controlling through
cellular network has a very good prospect because cellular network can cover very long distance and the device
does not need to be in line of sight, or any specific position for monitoring or controlling. This controlling system
can play important roles for communication systems. In
this thesis paper, we have designed and implemented a
remote control system which is used through the cellular
network. Distance is not a matter for this method. Only
cellular network is needed.
2.2 Remote Control Systems
A microcontroller based cellular remote control system
has been implemented which needs a cellular network
and there are master and remote devices under the cellular network.

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sceiver device is shown in Figure2.

Figure 1: Master and remote devices.

Figure 2: Block diagram of cellular remote control system.

Using this remote control system, users can sense, monitor and control any systems remotely. Microcontrollers
are used in master device and remote device which are
programmed according to the requirements. In Figure 1,
the master device and remote device are attached with
cellular phones. These two devices are connected by establishing calls between them. After connecting, the master device can sense, monitor and control the remote device.

Two same devices that send and receive signals. Hence,
there is no need to design two different hardwares for
sender and receiver. However the algorithms and software for the sender and receiver are different.

2.3 Cellular Phones and Related Frequencies
Cellular phones will work as modems for remote control
system through cellular network. Since these are used for
transferring and receiving signals we have to be careful
about cellular phone’s capacity and requirements for signal handling. The band of the electromagnetic spectrum
between 300 and 3000 Hz is referred to as “voice frequency”. The bandwidth allocated or a single voice frequency
transmission channel is usually 4 KHz including the
guard band. Cellular phones can not tolerate out of this
range. We can select some frequencies like 500 Hz, 1 KHz,
1.5 KHz, 2 KHz, 2.5 KHz, 3 KHz, and 3.4 KHz etc for cellular phones to handle the signaling. As our remote control system works through cellular network, the frequencies of sending and receiving signals must be within 3.4
KHz.

3 HARDWARE USED IN THIS REMOTE
CONTROL SYSTEM
There are two same electronic devices.The main components of each device for implementing microcontroller
based remote control system are:
a) Power supply for voltages + 5V, 0 V and -5 V.
b) PIC16F877A microcontrollers
c) Operational Amplifiers (comparator for microcontroller)
d) Cellular phones
e) Ear phones
f) Others (switch, LEDs, crystal oscillators etc.)
The devices work as transceivers when these are connectedthrough cellular networks. The block diagram of tran-

4 ALGORITHM AND SOFTWARE FOR SENSING AND
DETECTING INFORMATION

The algorithms and software used for the experiments are
described below.

4.1 Algorithm
Two electronic devices are used in this work and they act
as transmitter and receiver. The devices are connected
through cellular network using cellular phones. Each device consists a set of microcontroller, switch, LED, power
supply, capacitors, resistors, and diodes etc. The sender
sends a signal with the frequency of 2.2 KHzto receiver
when the switch is pressed. The receiver detects the signal
and checks whether its frequency is 2.2 KHz or not. If the
frequencyis 2.2 KHz, it will switch on its own LED. It will
also send another 1.1 KHz signal to sender as acknowledgment. The sender detects the signal whether it is 1.1
KHz or not. If it the desired signal, it will switch on its
own LED. Therefore, the sender will be acknowledged
that the receiver gets 2.2 KHz signal.
4.1.1 Choosing a signal with specific frequency
Since the target is to send and receive signals through
cellular network, the frequencies of the signals must be
within “voice frequency”: 3400 Hz. Experimentshave
been done with different signals. Finally two signals with
2200 Hz and 1100 Hz were chosen. The reason of selecting
these two frequencies wereowing to good shapes of these
two signals on oscilloscope.
4.1.2 Operational Sequence
Suppose the devices are named as Device A and Device B.
Operationalsequences aredescribed below:
1. When the switch is pressed, Device A generates

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and sends a 2200 Hz signal to Device B through
cellular network:
Generate 2200 Hz signal,So f = 2200 Hz
T= 1/f, so T= 1/2200= 454 micro second. That means a
full cycle needs 454 micro second. So half cycle = 454/2 =
227.
The total step = 227/2 = 114.
Now 256-114 =142, so start the step from 142.
2.

Device B detects the signal whether it is 2200 Hz or
not. If it gets 2200 Hz signal, it will switch on LED:
Check frequency
f = 2200 Hz.
We know, T = 1/f. Thus, T = 1/2200 = 454 micro
second. The range from 440 micro second to 470 micro
second can be selected. 440/4 to 470/4 = 110 to 118.
If X is greater than 118---------- No interrupt
If X is smaller than 110------------No interrupt.
X must be in between 110 and 118.
110<-X <- 118.
3. If the detecting signal is within the range, Device B
will understand that the signal is 2200 Hz and it will
switch on the LED and send an acknowledgement signal:
1100 Hz to Device A.
4. Device A will perform almost the same operations as
the step 2 and 3 performed by Device B to confirm the
signal and to switch on the LED. However,it may not
need to send any acknowledgement signal. Here, Device
A will detect the signal whether it is 1100 Hz or not. If it
gets 1100 Hz signal, it will switch on its LED.
Check frequency
f = 1100 Hz.
We know, T = 1/f. So, T = 1/1100 = 900 micro second.
We can select the range from 880 micro second to 920 micro second. 880/4 to 920/4 = 220 to 230.
If X is greater than 230---------- No interrupt
If X is smaller than 220------------No interrupt.
X must be in between 220 and 230.
220<-X <- 230.
However, the acknowledgement part was not implemented in this work yet.

4.2 Software
PIC Microcontroller is driven by the assembly language
program and the programs written in this project are
based on the above algorithms. The name of the programming software for pic code is MPLAB IDE. After
writing and building the codes, the program is loaded on
microcontrollers. Topwin software is used to load the
program. A hardware device of Topwin is attached with
computer through the USB port. The microcontroller is
put in to the hardware’s track and the program is loaded
into it. After successfully burnt, the microchip is put intothe electronic devices.

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PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESULTS

5.1 Preliminary Experiments
To do the experiments, at first two switched on cellular
phonesare needed to be connected with the senders and
receivers. When sender wants to send signal to receiver, it
will make a phone call from its attached cellular phone to
another cellular phone which is attached with the receiver. When the ringing is established, the receiver mobile
will receive the phone call automatically. To receive automatically, the auto answer option from the setting of
receiving mobile phone will be enabled. Step by step
many experiments were done for this work. Every ear
phone has mainly two wires. One is for microphone and
another is for speaker. These two wires are again divided
into two more wires. We cut the speaker wire which is
used for receiving signal. It has two more wires. One is
for signal and another is for ground. The conductivity
was checked with multi-meter. There was no conductivity
above the wires because these are isolated to avoid short
connection between two wires. The isolation was removed and soldering was done so that these two wires
can be connected with input port of microchip of receiving end. The receiving mobile was connected with oscilloscope through speaker wire to see the output signal. In
the similar way, the sender mobile was connctedwith signal generator through microphone wire. Then a call was
established between the two mobile phones. The bandwidth allocated for a single voice-frequency transmission
channel is usually 4 kHz. Different signals were generated within 4 KHz range from the signal generator. These
signals entered into sender mobile and modulated the
carrier signal of cellular GSM network and received by
the receiver mobile phone and pass to the oscilloscope
through the speaker. The signals were detected at oscilloscope. However, the signals were noisydue to the DC
components. To avoid the DC component of the signal,
capacitors were used. Then better signal was shown on
oscilloscope. As said before, at 1.1 KHz and 2.2 KHz frequencies,the sinusoidal signal was good. Here the input
voltage range was 100 mv and amplitude was not so high,
because high amplitude may be harmful for mobile
phones. The preliminary experiment was successful because we were able to send signals instead of voice signals from one cellular phone to another cellular phone.
5.2 Sender Sends Signal with Microcontroller
Basically two major operations are aimed to perform.
Sender will send the signal and receiver will detect the
signal. To do the procedures two PIC16F877A microcontrollers were employed in sender and receiver devices.
One sends the signal and another detects that signal. In
sender side, a microcontroller generates signal and in receiver side, another microcontroller detects the signal.
Assembly language programs have been used for sender
side to generate 1.1 KHz and 2.2 KHz signal. However,
later a 2.2 KHz signal was generated to send the signal.
To drive the circuit, + 5 volt and 0 volt power supplies-

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were needed. Circuit gets the voltages from power supply
connected with 220 AC volts. Microchip’s 11 and 32 no.
pins are for VDD (+5 volt) and 12 and 31 no. pins are for
VSS (Ground supply). The program was loaded into the
microcontroller. RB4 pin (pin 37) of microcontroller is
used as output pin by which the signal goes out. Three
resistors and one capacitor are connected with this pin
and signal passes through these resistors and capacitor
for suppressing harmonic and DC components. Then the
output wire and ground were connected with the oscilloscope. After voltages applying the voltage,the signal
was shown on oscilloscope. In sender end, when the
switch is pressed, the signal should be sent. Thus, the the
codes were updated for the switching. A push button
switch was attached with the microcontroller’s pin 15
through a resistor. When the switch was pressed, 2.2 KHz
signal was generated, other wise, no signal was generated. Figure 3 shows thesender device connected with the
oscilloscope.

Figure 3: Sender device connected with oscilloscope.
Figure 3 shows that the sender device is attached with
oscilloscope. There is no signal shown on oscilloscope.
However, after pressing the switch, a 2.2 KHz signal was
generated and shown in figure 4.

5.3 Sender Sends Sinusoidal Signal and Signal
shown in Oscilloscope at Receiver Side
A cellular phone is connected with sender circuits
through its microphone. Another cellular phone’s speaker
is connected with oscilloscope. The sender phone called
to the receiving phone and the network connection is established automatically. After connection established,
when the switch of sender side is pressed, the oscilloscope shows 2.2 KHz sinusoidal signal which it attached
with receiver’s speaker.
5.4 Received Sqaure Wave signal shown in
Oscilloscope
We established the connection between two cellular
phones again. The sender phone was connected with microcontroller with switch, which generated 2.2 KHz signal
after pressing the switch. At the receiving end, an Operational Amplifier was used. We know that operational
Amplifier (OP-AMP) can be used as comparator. Comparator converts sinusoidal waves into square waves. At
first we used LM358 OP-AMP, but it can not tolerate high
frequencies. Therefore, we used TL082 OP-AMP with the
receiver phone to convert the received sinusoidal waves
into square waves. We saw the signal at oscilloscope
which was a square wave signal when the switch of sender side was pressed.
5.5 Detecting The Signal
After doing the previous experiment, we did the experiment for detecting the signal. We wrote another program
to detect 2.2 KHz signal and loaded the program in to
microchip. The RB0/INT pin (pin 33) was used for interrupt. That means the signal goes to microcontroller
through this pin. When it detects the signal it will switch
on a LED connected with RB6 pin (pin 39). We generated
a 2.2 KHz signal from signal generator and signal generator was connected with comparator. Comparator connected microcontroller through RB0 pin. When we generated 2.2 KHz any wave signal from signal generator and
sent it to microcontroller through comparator, the LED
was on. But when different signal is generated, the LED
was not on.

Figure4: After pressing switch, 2.2 KHz signal is
shown.
Figure 5: Signal generator with receiver

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Figure 5 describes that a signal generator is attached
with the receiver. The receiver does not switch on its
LED, because it does not detect its required 2.2 KHz signal.

network by establishing a call from sender cellular phone
to receiver cellular phone. Sender senta 2.2 KHz signal to
receiver by pressing the switch. When pressing the
switch, receiver detectedits desired signal and switched
on its own LED shown in figure 8.

When the signal generator generates 2.2 KHz signal, the
receiver detects the signal and switches on the LED.

Figure 8: Sendersends signal and receiver detects the
signal.
Figure 6: Receiver detects desired signal and switches on
LED
Figure 6 shows that when the receiver detects its desired 2.2 KHz signal, it switches on its LED.

5.6 Sender Sends and receiver Detects The Signal
through Cellular Network
After that the whole experiment was done through the
cellular network. At first network was established by
making call from one cellular phone to another. When the
switch was pressed in sender side, the LED of the receiving side was on, because the receiving phone’s speaker
was connected with microchip through comparator in the
receiving side.

Figure 7: Sender and receiver
Figure 7 shows that both sender and receiver. Both are
connected through cellular network.
Both sender and receiver were connected through cellular

6 POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS OF THIS REMOTE
SENSING TECHNIQUE

This remote sensing technique can be implemented in
many real life applications. We can use this technique to
solve many problems remotely. Two possible applications
that can be implemented in E-Commerce and Telemedicine are described below:

6.1 Possible Applications in E-Commerce
E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) refers to any business performed electronically and is done mostly through
internet. Products can be sold and purchaed from any
where in the world using E-Commerce. Cost effective and
easily accessible E-Commerce is highly appreciable especially for very rural area. The remote control system can
be employed ordering product from companies even if
there is no computer or internet connection. As an example, a companyproducesand supplies the products to the
different shops. To supply the products, the company
needs to know the requirements of the shops. Some shops
may order their required products through Internet. But
in under developed or developing couintires, most of the
companies’ people go to the shops physically and take the
orders from the shop keepers. They make notes of the
orders in their order books or in any digital storage. This
is a time consuming and costly way to get the orders. Our
remote control system can play an important role for
placing and reading orders. There is an example given
below for using this remote sensing system to place and
to get the orders remotely.
The shop keepers may place orders and companies read
the orders remotely. For example, a product company
distributes remote devices to different shops. The remote
devices includes a microcontroller, a cellular phone and a
board in which the there are some tag buttons. All components are attached together. Each button is assigned for

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each individual product or quantity. The shop keeper
places order by pressing the tag buttons of the board. The
information of the products goes to microcontroller. The
microcontroller is programmed, thus it generates and
sends different information for different products and
quantities. During the time of taking order, the company
or distributor will call the specific cellular phone designated with the remote device of the shop. The cellular
phone will receive the call automatically and the order
system will get the ordering information; product names
quantities etc, remotely.The Remote and the Master Devices for order system are show in Figure 9.

Figure 9: The Remote and the Master Devices for order
system.
The shop keeper places the orders and company reads the
orders remotely. Suppose shop keeper orders 240pieces
mineralwater bottle of 250 ml. He presses mineral water,
250 ml, 240 Pcs and Place Order buttons. Every button
has a fixed value. The three values (mineral water, 250 ml,
24 Pcs) are stored together at the device after placing the
Place Order button. When company establishes the connection, it will get the corresponding signals for the orders.

6.2 Possible Applications in Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the way by which physicians collect information about the patients and gives advice to the patients. This iscomparatively a new concept in medical
field. The advantage of telemedicine is that doctors and
patients can communicate each other from any where in
the world. Continuously observing temperature is very
important for many cases. Human body temperature is
also frequently measured when he or she is ill. The temperature of a patient is fluctuated very much for many
diseases andfor these situations physicians or patients’
attendances measure patient’s temperature very frequently. If some one wants to measure a patient’s temperature
remotely, he or she can do it using this remote control
system. The method for measuring human body tempera-

ture remotely is described here. A patient’s temperature
can vary from 98 F to 104 F.
We know that,
98 F = 36.66 C and the corresponding voltage is 367 mv.
99 F = 37.22 C and the corresponding voltage is 372 mv.
100 F = 37.78 C and the corresponding voltage is 378 mv.
101 F = 38.33 C and the corresponding voltage is 383 mv.
102 F = 38.39 C and the corresponding voltage is 384 mv.
103 F = 39.44 C and the corresponding voltage is 394 mv.
104 F = 40.00 C and the corresponding voltage is 400 mv.
By doing an experiment for temperature control project
the mvsmeasurments were achieved. The differences between the corresponding mvs are very small. Therefore, a
non inverting amplifier can be used to gain the voltage.
G= 1 + Rf/Ri.
To get the gain 5, the value Rf=4 and Ri=1 can be set.
Thus, the voltages gains after using the non inverting
amplifier are:
For 98 F = 367 mv*5= 1835 mv=1.835 v.
99 F = 372 mv*5= 1860 mv=1.860 v.
100 F = 378 mv*5= 1890 mv=1.890 v.
101 F = 383 mv*5= 1915 mv=1.915 v.
102 F = 384 mv*5= 1920 mv=1.920 v.
103 F = 394 mv*5= 1970 mv= 1.970 v.
104 F = 400 mv*5= 2000 mv= 2.00 v.
After that, different frequencies for the different voltages
can be set in microcontroller’s program.
For examples,
500 Hz is for 1.835 volt.
1.0 KHz is for 1.860 volt.
1.5 KHz is for 1.890 volt.
2.0 KHz is for 1.915 volt.
2.5 KHz is for 1.920 volt.
3.0 KHz is for 1.970 volt.
3.4 KHz is for 2.00 volt.
In Remote Device, temperature sensor senses the patient’s
temperature and the temperatures have corresponding
voltages within mv ranges. The non inverting amplifier
amplifies the mvs and outputof the voltages are 5 times
higher. The non inverting amplifier is attached with microcontroller which has analog to digital converter
(ADC), a cellular phone and a 7 segment display. The
physician handles the Master Device. When the physicians or others want to measure the patient’s temperature, he or she will call the cellular phone attached with
the system. After establishing the call, he will get signals
which are assigned for different temperature. The master
device also includes a microcontroller attached with a
cellular phone and 7 segment display. The programmable
microcontroller receivesthe signals corresponding the
temperature. As an example, if the microcontroller detects
500 Hz signal, it will show 98 F on display, because 500
Hz is assigned for 1.835 volt. This voltage is the 5 times
gain of 367 mv which is the corresponding voltage for
36.66 C, where 98 F = 36.66 C.
Thoughthe practical experiments for the two possible
applications were not implemented yet, sending and de-

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tecting the signals remotely was investigated. To use the
remote control system for any practical purpose, the
hardware and software can be changed according to the
requirements.

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REFERENCES
[1]

CONCLUSION

Remote operations of electronic devices through cellular network have very good prospects for communications systems. In our experiments, sender sends signal
remotely and receiver detects the signal. If it is the desired signal, receiver switches on the LED. It is also
possible to implement that after getting the signal, receiver will send an acknowledgement signal to sender.
After getting the acknowledgement signal, sender will
switch on its own LED to confirm the user. Any electronic devices can be sensed, monitored and controlled
using this remote control system through the cellular
network. Distance of the objects is not a matter, only
the cellular network is needed. When the call is established, the receiver will receive the call automatically.
However, there is a problem on security issue. Any
one can call to the sender or receiver mobile phone and
make any or both of them busy. So they will not able to
call or receive any number. When receiver gets 2.2
KHz signal, it will switch on its LED and sends a 1.1
KHz acknowledgement signal to sender. After getting
acknowledgement 1.1 KHz signal, it will switch on its
LED. The problem is, if others send 2.2 KHz signal to
receiver and 1.1 KHz signal to sender, both will accept
the signals. However, this security problem can easily
be solved setting the mobile phones dedicated to call
and receive from just specific numbers. To make the
system more secured, both sender and receiver can
generate a secret key which will also be transferred
with signal. Duringthe detection of the signal, the secret key will also be detected. The size of the remote
devices can be smaller for convenient uses and small
battery can be utilized instead of power supplies. It
will be better to use small cellular phones which can be
placed in the hardware systems, so that the systems
can be smaller. Since any electronic devices can be operated using this remote control system through cellular network, any electronic devices can be switched on
or off according to the requirements. The possible applications on E-Commerce can be implemented for the
remote area and by using remote application for Telemedicine; blood pressure, ECG etc can be measured.
Environement measurements, suchas temperature,
humidity, smokes etc could be easily monitored
through the systems. The remote control system can be
used in any office or house for any security or monitoring purposes.

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Gazi Mohammad Sharif received his Ph.D. degree from the University ofElectro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan in 2014. Hewas
awarded Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship in
October, 2010. Currently he is working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at
the Institute of Innovative Science and Technology in Tokai University, Kanagawa, Japan. His research interest is all optical signal
processing and microcontroller based embedded systems.
Khosru Mohammad Salimreceived his Ph.D. degree from Kyoto
University, Kyoto, Japan in 2004. Hewas awarded Center of Excellence (COE) Scholarship in Kyoto University. Currently he is working
as anAssociate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Independent University, Bangladesh. His research interests arerenewable energy technologies, industrial electronics, and microcontroller based embedded systems.