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Synchronization of multihop wireless sensor networks at the application layer

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6 Author(s)
Marco, A. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Commun., Univ. of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain ; Casas, R. ; Ramos, J.L.S. ; Coarasa, V.
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Time synchronization is a key issue in wireless sensor networks; timestamping collected data, tasks scheduling, and efficient communications are just some applications. From all the existing techniques to achieve synchronization, those based on precisely time-stamping sync messages are the most accurate. However, working with standard protocols such as Bluetooth or ZigBee usually prevents the user from accessing lower layers and consequently reduces accuracy. A receiver-to-receiver schema improves timestamping performance because it eliminates the largest non-deterministic error at the sender's side: the medium access time. Nevertheless, utilization of existing methods in multihop networks is not feasible since the amount of extra traffic required is excessive. In this article, we present a method that allows accurate synchronization of large multihop networks, working at the application layer while keeping the message exchange to a minimum. Through an extensive experimental study, we evaluate the protocol¿s performance and discuss the factors that influence synchronization accuracy the most.

Published in:

Wireless Communications, IEEE  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

February 2011

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