Wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSANs) offer an appealing communication technology for process automation applications. However, such networks pose unique challenges due to their critical demands on reliability and real-time performance. While industrial WSANs have received attention in the research community, most published results to date focused on the theoretical aspects and were evaluated based on simulations. There is a critical need for experimental research on this important class of WSANs. We developed an experimental testbed by implementing several key network protocols of WirelessHART, an open standard for WSANs widely adopted in the process industries, including multi-channel TDMA with shared slots at the MAC layer and reliable graph routing supporting path redundancy. We then performed a comparative study of the two alternative routing approaches adopted by WirelessHART, namely source routing and graph routing. Our study shows that graph routing leads to significant improvement over source routing in term of worst-case reliability, at the cost of longer latency and higher energy consumption. It is therefore important to employ graph routing algorithms specifically designed to optimize latency and energy efficiency.
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- Implementation and Experimentation of Industrial Wireless Sensor-Actuator Network Protocols
- Springer International Publishing
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