Wireless monitoring and control solutions (e.g., WirelessHART) in industrial harsh environments offer benefits in relation to lower cost and easier deployments than the case for wired solutions (e.g., Fieldbus system and wired HART). A notable trend in industrial automation in recent years has been the replacement of wired communication with low power and low cost wireless sensor and actuator networks (IWSAN).

 IWSAN, therefore, becomes an emerging technology within the area of industrial automation. A typical wireless industrial automation network deployment consists of field devices equipped with sensors and actuators that communicate with the plant network via a Gateway by multihop.

The goal of this project is design and implement reliable and real-time communication protocols for IWSAN. The correctness and effectiveness of the proposed protocols and algorithms will be verified by theoretical analysis, simulations and implementations in test-bed. In order to guarantee reliability and real-time, we consider routing algorithms based on TDMA with dynamic topology management and some specific QoS requirements, such as real-time, energy consumption and reliable communication in IWSANs.

We prefer using OPNET to evaluate algorithms and protocols which will be implemented in OPNET. In OPNET network, sensors and actuators will be deployed according to realistic scenarios in industrial factories. Thanks to OPNET, we are able to compare our algorithm with other existing algorithms and protocols implemented in OPNET. 

Ongoing work:

  1. A Priority-Enhanced Routing Algorithm for TDMA-based IWSAN using OPNET.
    The goal of the sub-project is to design and implement a routing algorithm to enhance real-time performance with considering delay and priority in IWSAN.
  2. Implementation of different channel models based on IEEE 802.15.4 protocol using OPNET.
    The objective is to obtain an optimal channel condition in physical layer to support  upper-layer protocols. The main methodology is to implement different physical-layer models and investigate the effects of path-loss parameters and different fading models on 2.4 GHz channel condition in OPNET.
  3. Priority-based Two-Hop Velocity-based Routing Algorithm for Gradient-based Network.
    Implement a two-hop velocity-based routing algorithms in gradient-based network to enhance real-time performance with energy efficiency.
  4. Implementation of WirelessHART MAC using OPNET.
    WirelessHART is an open standard in IWSAN targeting on  process measurement, control, and asset management applications. The physical layer of WirelessHART is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard which has been implemented in the latest version of OPNET software. In this sub-project, the WirelessHART MAC protocol will be implemented based on IEEE 802.15.4 PHY in OPNET.

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Research leader
Prof. Tingting Zhang

Wei Shen