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In this paper an enhanced Layer-2 multi-hop wireless network implementation for Infrastructure based Wireless Mesh Networks is presented. This work combines the flexibility of Layer-2 Wireless Bridging with the dynamic self-configuring capabilities of MANET routing. The main contribution of this paper is an investigation of the issues encountered when applying a pure bridging based solution to wireless multi-hop networks and the development of several mechanisms to overcome these problems. This work was implemented and deployed in a real testbed environment using Routerboard hardware and utilising a number of open-source network tools in accordance with the needs of our platform. The developed testbed incorporates self-healing and self-configuration features without requiring a traditional MANET routing protocol. Instead the 802.11 beacon frames sent by the Access Points were extended with link information to allow optimal construction of the mesh topology. Results are presented which demonstrate the automated topology construction mechanism. Further results also show the enhancements made to the normal 802.11 Layer-2 mobility mechanism.
Date of Conference: 1-3 March 2010