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The medium access control issues of a distributed wireless network of cooperative tracking radars are investigated by modeling the individual radars as part of a system-of-systems rather than as independently operating sensors. Two fundamental observations are made regarding the radar control traffic flow and the radar data traffic flow: the pulse repetition frequency (PRF) is found to be bounded by the radar control packet delay and the radar data traffic is bursty but not well-suited to contention-based medium access. Motivated by these observations, we propose a novel medium access protocol: the Cooperative Radar Medium Access Control (CR-MAC) protocol. CR-MAC is an application-aware protocol that combines the throughput of a time division medium access (TDMA) protocol with the reduced delay of a contention-based protocol. Control packet delay as well as data traffic throughput are analyzed and CR-MAC is found to outperform conventional TDMA and CSMA.
Date of Conference: 16-18 April 2007