Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Xiaorui Wang

Committee Members

Gregory Peterson, Husheng Li

Abstract

Many radio chips used in today's sensor mote hardware can work at different frequencies. Recently, several multi-channel communication protocols have been proposed to improve network throughput and reduce packet loss for wireless sensor networks. However, existing work does not provide explicit guarantees for application-specified end-to-end communication delays, which are critical to many real-time applications such as surveillance and disaster response. On the other hand, those radio chips also have adaptable transmission power which allows a trade-off between communication delays and energy efficiency.

This work proposes two multi-channel real-time communication protocols. One of the protocols features a node-based channel assignment policy while the other allocates channels to network partitions organized based on data flows. Both protocols are designed based on the multi-channel realities of existing mote hardware. The two proposed protocols are compared with other real-time protocols for wireless sensor networks to evaluate their performance using simulations based on a realistic radio model. The simulations are supplemented with results from hardware experiment done using Sentilla Tmote Invent motes [35]. The results demonstrate that the two protocols can effectively utilize multiple channels to reduce the number of deadlines missed in end-to-end communications.

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