This paper describes a wireless mesh network testbed for research in rapid deployment and auto-configuration of mesh nodes. Motivated by the needs of first responders and military personnel arriving to an incident area, we developed and tested an automated deployment algorithm that indicates when a mesh node needs to be deployed as the coverage area grows. Conventional radios can experience severe coverage limitations inside structures such as hi-rise buildings, subterranean buildings, caves, and underground mines. The approach examined here is to deploy wireless relays that extend coverage through multihop communication using a deployment algorithm that employs physical layer measurements. A flexible platform based on IEEE 802.11 radios has been implemented and tested in a subterranean laboratory complex where conventional public safety radios have no coverage. Applications tested include two-way voice, data, and location information. This paper describes the testbed, presents experimental results, and recommends areas for further study and development in rapidly-deployable multihop networks.
Proceedings Title: IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM) 2009
Conference Dates: November 30-December 4, 2009
Conference Location: Honolulu, HI
Pub Type: Conferences
breadcrumb, deployment, mesh network, public safety communications, 802.11