, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 1961-1975
Date: 19 Nov 2012

A Wireless Sensor Network Protocol for an Inertial Motion Tracking System

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Wireless sensor networks have found their way to countless applications in many different fields. Due to the restricted power availability these systems are faced with, custom wireless protocols have been designed. Many different protocols have already been conceived, yet each application will impose different requirements. In inertial motion tracking, sensor nodes are applied on the body allowing full body posture reconstruction. These nodes must not hinder or restrict the movements of the user in any way, meaning that a wireless approach is desirable. A suiting protocol that insures robust simultaneous functionality of at least 15 nodes at a rate of 100Hz is required. A TDMA based protocol with master/slave hierarchy is presented for the application at hand. Nodes dynamically decide on their role within the network at startup and reassess the network state regularly. Conflicting situations are handled whenever they arise and nodes react accordingly creating a fully plug-and-play system. Careful implementation of the protocol in embedded software allows data transmission of 19 nodes while each of them consumes an average current of only 3mA.

The work of B. Huyghe is supported by a fellowship of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders (FWO), Belgium.