On the use of IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee for Time-Sensitive Wireless Sensor Network Applications
Ref: HURRAY-TR-081005 Publication Date: 1, Oct, 2008
On the use of IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee for Time-Sensitive Wireless Sensor Network ApplicationsRef: HURRAY-TR-081005 Publication Date: 1, Oct, 2008
Recent advancements in information and communication technologies are paving the way for new paradigms in embedded computing systems. This, allied with an increasing eagerness for monitoring and controlling everything, everywhere, is pushing forward the design of new Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) infrastructures that will tightly interact with the physical environment, in a ubiquitous and pervasive fashion. Such cyber-physical systems require a rethinking of the usual computing and networking concepts, and given that the computing entities closely interact with their environment, timeliness is of increasing importance. This Thesis addresses the use of standard protocols, particularly IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee, combined with commercial technologies as a baseline to enable WSN infrastructures capable of supporting the Quality of Service (QoS) requirements (specially timeliness and system lifetime) that future large-scale networked embedded systems will impose. With this purpose, in this Thesis we start by evaluating the network performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 Slotted CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance) mechanism for different parameter settings, both through simulation and through an experimental testbed. In order to improve the performance of these networks (e.g. throughput, energyefficiency, message delay) against the hidden-terminal problem, a mechanism to mitigate it was implemented and experimentally validated. The effectiveness of this mechanism was also demonstrated in a real application scenario, featuring a target tracking application. A methodology for modelling cluster-tree WSNs and computing the worst-case end-to-end delays, buffering and bandwidth requirements was tested and validated experimentally. This work is of paramount importance to understand the behaviour of WSNs under worst-case conditions and also to make the appropriate network settings. Our experimental work enabled us to identify a number of technological constrains, namely related to hardware/software and to the Open-ZB implementation in TinyOS. In this line, a new implementation effort was triggered to port the Open-ZB IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee protocol stack to the ERIKA real-time operating system. This implementation was validated experimentally and its behaviour compared with the TinyOS-based implementation.
Master Thesis, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto.
Notes: EWSN'09 Best MSc Thesis Award