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Wireless Technology in Industrial Networks

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3 Author(s)
Willig, A. ; Hasso-Plattner-Inst., Univ. of Potsdam, Germany ; Matheus, K. ; Wolisz, A.

With the success of wireless technologies in consumer electronics, standard wireless technologies are envisioned for the deployment in industrial environments as well. Industrial applications involving mobile subsystems or just the desire to save cabling make wireless technologies attractive. Nevertheless, these applications often have stringent requirements on reliability and timing. In wired environments, timing and reliability are well catered for by fieldbus systems (which are a mature technology designed to enable communication between digital controllers and the sensors and actuators interfacing to a physical process). When wireless links are included, reliability and timing requirements are significantly more difficult to meet, due to the adverse properties of the radio channels. In this paper, we thus discuss some key issues coming up in wireless fieldbus and wireless industrial communication systems: 1) fundamental problems like achieving timely and reliable transmission despite channel errors; 2) the usage of existing wireless technologies for this specific field of applications; and 3) the creation of hybrid systems in which wireless stations are incorporated into existing wired systems.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:93 ,  Issue: 6 )