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Self-orientation of directional antennas, assisted by mobile robots, for receiving the best wireless signal strength

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5 Author(s)
Byung-Cheol Min ; Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Lab., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Lewis, J. ; Schrader, D.K. ; Matson, E.T.
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In our previous work, we presented autonomous, self-organizing wireless networks using multiple mobile robots, which enabled the desired wireless coverage in the form of a mesh network and a point-to-point network. Capacities to cover the desired area using multiple robots, all carrying omnidirectional antennas, were demonstrated. However, the use of omnidirectional antennas did not prove effective in covering a sufficiently large distance. Hence, in this paper, we introduce the use of directional antennas to increase the range of the wireless network, and later apply this concept to extending a wireless network over complex terrain. As the first step to using directional antennas, we will present a pattern-based search algorithm to address the problem of self-orientation of a Directional Wireless Network (DWN). The algorithm will find the orientation of antennas that enables them to receive the best possible Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI). Preliminary experimental results will be shown that demonstrate the ability of the algorithm, assisted by mobile robots with pan-tilt devices for the antennas, to automatically find the maximum RSSI available. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of findings from this paper and applications of the use of directional antennas.

Published in:

Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS), 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

7-9 Feb. 2012