Not all wireless sensor networks are created equal

  • Mottola L
  • Picco G
  • Ceriotti M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are envisioned for a number of application scenarios. Never- theless, the few in-the-field experiences typically focus on the features of a specific system, and rarely report about the characteristics of the target environment, especially w.r.t. the behavior and performance of low-power wireless communication. The TRITon project, funded by our local administration, aims to improve safety and reduce maintenance costs of road tunnels, using a WSN-based control infrastructure. The access to real tunnels within TRITon gives us the oppor- tunity to experimentally assess the peculiarities of this environment, hitherto not investigated in the WSN field. We report about three deployments: i) an operational road tunnel, enabling us to assess the impact of vehicular traffic; ii) a non-operational tunnel, providing insights into anal- ogous scenarios (e.g., underground mines) without vehicles; iii) a vineyard, serving as a baseline representative of the existing literature. Our setup, replicated in each deployment, uses main- stream WSN hardware, and popular MAC and routing protocols. We analyze and compare the deployments w.r.t. reliability, stability, and asymmetry of links, the accuracy of link quality es- timators, and the impact of these aspects on MAC and routing layers. Our analysis shows that a number of criteria commonly used in the design of WSN protocols do not hold in tunnels. Therefore, our results are useful for designing networking solutions operating efficiently in similar environments

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Authors

  • Luca Mottola

  • Gian Pietro Picco

  • Matteo Ceriotti

  • Ştefan Gunǎ

  • Amy L. Murphy

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