Journal article

Channel Diagnostics for Wireless Sensor Networks in Harsh Industrial Environments

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Publication Details

Author list: ZHANG T, GIDLUND M, Barac F, GIDLUND M, ZHANG T

Publication year: 2014

Start page: 3983

End page: 3995

Number of pages: 13

ISSN: 1530-437X

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2014.2356972

View additional information: View in Web of Science


Abstract

Wireless sensor network communication in industrial environments is compromised by interference, multipath fading, and signal attenuation. In that respect, accurate channel diagnostics is imperative to selecting the adequate countermeasures. This paper presents the lightweight packet error discriminator (LPED) that infers the wireless link condition by distinguishing between errors caused by multipath fading and attenuation, and those inflicted by interfering wideband single-channel communication systems (e.g., IEEE 802.11b/g), based on the differences in their error footprints. The LPED uses forward error correction in a novel context, namely, to determine the symbol error density, which is then fed to a discriminator for error source classification. The classification criteria are derived from an extensive set of error traces collected in three different types of industrial environments, and verified on a newly collected set of error traces. The proposed solution is evaluated both offline and online, in terms of classification accuracy, speed of channel diagnostics, and execution time. The results show that in =91% of cases, a single packet is sufficient for a correct channel diagnosis, accelerating link state inference by at least 270%, compared with the relevant state-of-the-art approaches. The execution time of LPED, for the worst case of packet corruption and maximum packet size, is below 30 ms with =3% of device memory consumption. Finally, live tests in an industrial environment show that LPED quickly recovers from link outage, by losing up to two packets on average, which is only one packet above the theoretical minimum.


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