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Methods for the assessment of the performance of short-range multi-hop wireless network communications.

Collett, M; Loh, T H (2012) Methods for the assessment of the performance of short-range multi-hop wireless network communications. In: Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2012 (PIERS 2012), 27-30 March 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are envisaged to perform critical monitoring for applications such as healthcare, security and industrial monitoring, resulting in ever increasing demands for understanding and quantification of the reliability and stability of WSN-based systems when deployed in real environments. This can be challenging as real environments are rapidly changing with a range of scattering and interference effects which can have a significant effect upon the communications performance. WSNs rely on their communications for sending data and responding to commands. They typically employ multi-hop wireless communications, where messages are routed through the network using paths determined by continuous link quality estimation and complex routing algorithms. The complexity and autonomy of such systems makes defining repeatable and reliable performance measurement techniques challenging. But without such tests users will be unable to make informed decisions about their procurement choices, and designers will be unable to reliably see the impact of changes to their system.

In this paper, we propose one method for assessing the performance of a WSN in establishing and maintaining communications in a highly multi-path environment. By deploying a network of SunSPOT wireless sensor nodes within an electromagnetic reverberation chamber, the effect of chamber configuration such as absorber volume and reflective stirrer position was observed. A simple metric of network coverage was used that was based upon the number of visible nodes at any given time. This allowed the rapid repeatable and reproducible characterization of WSN systems, allowing meaningful comparisons of performance to be made. It was found that the network coverage was highly sensitive to stirrer position and for the SunSPOT system, in the reverberation chamber only a 50% average network coverage was achievable.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: Wireless Sensor Network, Performance, Routing
Subjects: Electromagnetics
Electromagnetics > Wireless Communications
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/5457

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