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Motivated by recent interest in directional antennas for WSNs, we propose a four-beam patch antenna (FBPA) designed to meet the size, cost and complexity constraints of sensor nodes. We use in-field experiments with COTS motes to demonstrate substantial benefits to WSN applications. Used outdoors, the FBPA extends the communication range from 140 m to more than 350 m, while indoors it suppresses the interference due to multipath fading by reducing the signal variability of more than 70%. We also show interference suppression from IEEE 802.11 g systems and discuss the use of the antenna as a form of angular diversity useful to cope with the variability of the radio signal. Experimental data are analyzed to derive model parameters intended for use in future network simulations.
Wireless Technologies, 2007 European Conference on
Date of Conference: 8-10 Oct. 2007