Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we present a configurable and inexpensive MIMO mesh network research platform based on IEEE 802.11n and open source software. There are two requirements for such a research testbed. First configurability: the researcher needs the ability to modify hard- and software on each ISO/OSI layer. Secondly, the testbed has to comprise hundreds of nodes to make sound conclusions on network performance. Therefore, a single mesh node has to be cheap. Both requirements have contradicting implications and a tradeoff is necessary. We propose a solution based on off-the-shelf 802.11n hardware with Atheros WiFi chips, the open source WiFi driver ath9k, and the Click Router API. This represents a good tradeoff. Procurement costs for a single network node are below 100$. The solution yet allows a variety of adjustments based on the open-source driver and a highly configurable WiFi hardware. We evaluated our platform and present measurement results.
Date of Conference: 1-4 April 2012