Study of IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks in Harsh Environments
2006 (English)In: Nineteenth International Congress and Exhibition on Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
IEEE 802.11 technologies are expected to remain the popular wireless local area networking solution for home and office environments. With growing interest within the process and manufacturing industry to go wireless, these technologies are a natural choice for enabling tetherless control and maintenance. However, the use of IEEE 802.11 suite of protocols for wireless access in unconventional, harsh environments is limited and their behavior and performance in these settings is not yet well understood. A prime example of such a setting is the LKAB underground iron-ore mine in Kiruna, Sweden. LKAB envisions an economical and effective wireless access solution in the mines for increasing automation, e.g., remotely control mining equipment such as mobile loading machines and drilling equipment. In this paper, we present our experiences of operating an IEEE 802.11g based wireless network in the LKAB underground iron-ore mine. Using measurements, we characterize and model the environment and its effect on the performance of higher layer protocols. We derive the theoretical limits of IEEE 802.11g and compare them with our experimental results. We observe a highly reflective environment in the mine, which causes multipath fading and in turn, considerably degrades the maximum achievable throughput in practice.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20806OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-20806DiVA: diva2:48579