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RT-Link: A Time-Synchronized Link Protocol for Energy-Constrained Multi-hop Wireless Networks
Real-Time and Embedded Systems Lab (mLAB)
  • Rahul Mangharam, University of Pennsylvania
  • Anthoney Rowe, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon University
Document Type
Conference Paper
Date of this Version
9-1-2006
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Suggested Citation:
A. Rowe, R. Mangharam and R. Rajkumar, RT-Link: A Time-Synchronized Link Protocol for Energy Constrained Multi-hop Wireless Networks Third IEEE International Conference on Sensors, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (IEEE SECON), Reston, VA, September 2006.

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Abstract

We propose RT-Link, a time-synchronized link protocol for real-time wireless communication in industrial control, surveillance and inventory tracking. RT-Link provides predictable lifetime for battery-operated embedded nodes, bounded end-to-end delay across multiple hops, and collision-free operation. We investigate the use of hardwarebased time-synchronization for infrastructure nodes by using an AM carrier-current radio for indoors and atomic clock receivers for outdoors. Mobile nodes are synchronized via in-band software synchronization within the same framework. We identify three key observations in the design and deployment of RT-Link: (a) Hardware-based global-time synchronization is a robust and scalable option to in-band softwarebased techniques. (b) Achieving global time-synchronization is both economical and convenient for indoor and outdoor deployments. (c) RT-Link achieves a practical lifetime of over 2 years. Through analysis and simulation, we show that RTLink outperforms energy-efficient link protocols such as BMAC in terms of node lifetime and end-to-end latency. The protocol supports flexible services such as on-demand endto- end rate control and logical topology control. We implemented RT-Link on the CMU FireFly sensor platform and have integrated it within the nano-RK real-time sensor OS. A 42-node network with sub-20us synchronization accuracy has been deployed for 3 weeks in the NIOSH Mining Research Laboratory and within two 5-story campus buildings.

Keywords
  • Scheduling Algorithms for Embedded Wireless Networks
Citation Information
Rahul Mangharam, Anthoney Rowe and Raj Rajkumar. "RT-Link: A Time-Synchronized Link Protocol for Energy-Constrained Multi-hop Wireless Networks" (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rahul_mangharam/23/