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Industrial Wireless Networks: The Significance of Timeliness in Communication Systems

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3 Author(s)
Vitturi, S. ; IEIIT, Padua, Italy ; Tramarin, F. ; Seno, L.

In the last few years, wireless networks have gained significant importance in the context of industrial communication systems [1], where their deployment is bringing several noticeable benefits, ranging from replacement of cables to the connection of devices that cannot be reached by traditional wired systems. These features make the adoption of wireless networks for industrial applications very attractive, and they are envisaged to be deployed even more in the future, either as stand-alone systems or arranged in hybrid (wired/wireless) configurations. Unfortunately, wireless communication systems are often characterized by well-known problems, such as fading, multipath propagation, shadowing, and interference, that have the undesired effect of increasing the bit error rate (BER), resulting in the introduction of delays as well as randomness in packet delivery. Moreover, in the context of industrial communication, these aspects may be exacerbated by the specific nature of the environment. Indeed, the rapid movement of machineries along with the possible presence of electromagnetic interference sources, which are typical of manufacturing sites, may introduce considerable fluctuations of the BER values that contribute to further degradation in communication quality.

Published in:

Industrial Electronics Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 2 )