Receiver-Assigned CDMA in Wireless Sensor Networks

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Virginia Tech

A new class of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is emerging within the Internet of Things (IoT) that features extremely high node density, low data rates per node, and high network dependability. Applications such as industrial IoT, factory automation, vehicular networks, aviation, spacecraft and others will soon feature hundreds of low power, low data rate (1-15 kbps) wireless sensor nodes within a limited spatial environment.

Existing Medium Access Control (MAC) layer protocols, namely IEEE 802.15.4, may not be suitable for highly dense, low rate networks. A new MAC protocol has been proposed that supports a Receiver-Assigned Code Division Multiple Access (RA-CDMA) physical (PHY) layer multiple access technique, which may enable higher network scalability while maintaining performance and contributing additional robustness.

This thesis presents a comparison of the contention mechanisms of IEEE 802.15.4 non- beacon enabled mode and RA-CDMA along with a Matlab simulation framework used for end-to-end simulations of the protocols. Simulations suggest that IEEE 802.15.4 networks begin to break down in terms of throughput, latency, and delivery ratio at a relatively low overall traffic rate compared to RA-CDMA networks. Results show that networks using the proposed RA-CDMA multiple access can support node densities on the order of two to three times higher than IEEE 802.15.4 within the same bandwidth.

Furthermore, features of a new MAC layer protocol are proposed that is optimized for RA-CDMA, which could further improve network performance over IEEE 802.15.4. The protocol's simple and lightweight design eliminates significant overhead compared to other protocols while meeting performance requirements, and could further enable the deployment of RA-CDMA WSNs.

Wireless Sensor Networks, Medium Access Control, MAC, Receiver Assigned Code Division Multiple Access, RA-CDMA, IEEE 802.15.4, Zigbee