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Directional distributed co-ordination function - a medium access control protocol to simultaneously support both omni-directional and smart antennas in a same WLAN cell

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3 Author(s)
Zhao, L. ; State Key Lab. of Integrated Services Networks, Xidian Univ., Xi''an ; Zhang, J. ; Zhang, H.

Directional distributed co-ordination function (D-DCF), a modified medium access control protocol of IEEE 802.11, is proposed to support hybrid antennas such as smart adaptive array antennas and normal omni-directional antennas, in one wireless local area network cell. Nodes equipped with smart antennas follow D-DCF and nodes equipped with normal antennas follow DCF. D-DCF based on a hybrid virtual carrier sense mechanism maintains compatibility with DCF. In D-DCF, before sending any data-frames, the sender and receiver node transmit a pilot sequence by means of an omni-directional request-to-send/clear-to-send handshake mechanism. Based on the pilot, the directional beam can be formed by the smart antenna. Then the node can transmit its data-frame in the directional mode. The other nodes save the transmission time between the sender and receiver in the omni-directional mode in their network allocation vectors. When the sender and receiver communicate in the directional mode, the other nodes can access the channel to send their data-frames. Hence, D-DCF supports space division multiplexing. Moreover, D-DCF fully supports time division duplex, namely both the forward and backward transmission in one access period. Simulation results show that D-DCF can support the hybrid antenna system effectively and provide much higher network throughput, lower delay, jitter and packet-loss-rate than DCF does.

Published in:

Communications, IET  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )