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This paper deals with a novel MAC layer protocol, namely directive synchronous transmission asynchronous reception (D-STAR) able to space-time synchronize a wireless sensor network (WSN). To this end, D-STAR integrates directional antennas within the communications framework, while taking into account both sleep/active states, according to a cross-layer design. After characterizing the D-STAR protocol in terms of functional characteristics and antenna model, the related performance is presented, in terms of network lifetime gain, latency and collision probability. It has shown a remarkable gain in terms of energy consumption reduction with respect to the basic approach endowed with omnidirectional antennas, without increasing the signaling overhead nor affecting the set up latency.