Characterizing WiFi link performance in open outdoor networks

Characterizing WiFi link performance in open outdoor networks,10.1109/SAHCN.2011.5984905,Utpal Paul,Riccardo Crepaldi,Jeongkeun Lee,Sung-Ju Lee,Raul E

Characterizing WiFi link performance in open outdoor networks  
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We present an experimental performance evaluation study of WiFi links in an open-space outdoor environment. We consider a large scale wireless sensor network scenario of seismic data collection from sensors that are buried in ground and as et of access points (APs) form the hierarchical aggregation layer and the backbone of the network. We conduct two different link characterization studies. First, we evaluate the links between the sensor nodes and a wireless AP using IEEE 802.11a/b/g. We construct the path loss model and investigate the reachability distance of this link for different protocols and different sensor node antenna heights. We then characterize the long distance wireless backhaul links between the APs. We use 802.11n and high gain directional antenna for high throughput and long distance. We evaluate how different PHY and MAC layer enhancements of 802.11n impacts its performance in an open outdoor environment. We observed up to 148 Mb/s throughput at 800 meter line-of-sight links without sophisticated tuning of antenna orientation. We believe our findings can be a benchmark for WiFi based outdoor network deployment, especially for high throughput long distance links.
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