My day job is software engineering support at JSC. Several of the sensors we use are readily available:
Ruuvi tags are wonderful devices and the team producing them is extremely helpful to the user base. I have mine broadcasting temp, pressure, humidity, xyz acceleration, and battery voltage at 1/2 Hz. To be clear, all data is carried in the manufacturer data of the advertising packet. The range is phenomenal for BT and at the rate they’re running we’ll need to change a battery about once every three years. I’m monitoring about a dozen now that have been running for months. In the next two weeks we’ll deploy 25 more, using a RPi3 as the gateway. We’re using them in two places. One is to protect expensive projectors in the SES from extreme temps and humidity that’s out of range. The others will be in some of the curation labs as a pressure monitoring trial.
JSC’s WEAR lab has adopted Bluetooth as a transmission mechanism of choice. Here, Bluetooth HRM’s (your pick from what’s out there) are a sensor we monitor; tested already underwater at NEEMO. In addition, kits have been supplied to universities to enable Bluetooth data return. Their choice whether it’s in advertising packets or characteristics. One key is we don’t require pairing; the goal is to save on crew time. If data’s exposed via a characteristic we connect, read, and disconnect without the pairing step. Access control is handled via a list of valid MAC addresses.
Trivally, we’ve used Estimote stickers and beacons to track the location of equipment. This is simply listening for advertising packets to see which gateway can hear a particular beacon.
Personally I’ve got an application for using beaconing sensors to be sure livestock doesn’t get too hot. Think Ruuvi tags as the sensor here.
In the ground-based implementation of the environmental sensors the cellular back-haul is preferable; keeps us off networks that have onerous security restrictions. Should we fly a gateway to the ISS, wifi or more likely wired would be the back-haul of choice.
Hope this helps - I’d be happy to answer any follow-ons.