Real-World Wireless Sensor Networks

Volume 6511 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 126-137

Implementation and Evaluation of Combined Positioning and Communication

  • Paul AlcockAffiliated withLancaster University
  • , James BrownAffiliated withLancaster University
  • , Utz RoedigAffiliated withLancaster University

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A new generation of communication transceivers are able to support Time of Flight (TOF) distance measurements. Transceiver manufacturers envision that communication and positioning features are used separately and one at a time. However, we have demonstrated that such separation is unnecessary and that TOF measurements can be obtained during data communication. Thus, distance measurements required by positioning services can be collected both energy and bandwidth efficiently. In this paper we describe the modification of an existing low power wireless sensor network (WSN) medium access control (MAC) protocol called FrameComm to include collection of distance measurements. We describe the implementation of the modified FrameComm protocol (called FrameCommDM) on a Nanotron DK development kit comprising of an Atmel ATmega128 MCU and a Nanotron NA5TR1 transceiver. The performance of the FrameComm and FrameCommDM implementation on the Nanotron platform is evaluated and compared. It is shown that the collection of distance measurements has no significant impact on communication performance. Furthermore, the difference in energy consumption used to perform the additional ranging tasks of FrameCommDM is examined and quantified.