Agile Multi-PHY Wireless Networking

The current IoT market has a place for applications for short range radios and for long range radios. Standardized protocol stacks and physical layers are adopted for each domain, such as BLE and ZigBee for short-range IoT networks and LoRaWAN and SigFox for long-range IoT networks. The research by the EVA team introduces agile architectures that allow integration of both short-range and long-range radios under one architecture and protocol stack. This way, a node in the network can use short-range radio to communicate with a nearby neighbor and a long range radio to communicate with a further neighbor. This is far more doable today than a decade ago thanks to the advances in radio chip manufacturing. Today, we see radio chips in the market supporting multiple radios or protocol stacks and they allow changing the used radio/band on a frame-by-frame basis such as the Atmel AT86RF215 radio.

This research resulted in the generalized 6TiSCH (g6TiSCH) architecture: a generalization of the IETF standard 6TiSCH protocol stack for multi-PHY integration. It also resulted in 6DYN amendent to g6TiSCH so that a TSCH scehdule can support heterogeneous slots. Both networks have been implemented in OpenWSN and tested in our open testbed.
Furthermore, it resulted in RPLSim: lightweight and scalable discrete-event RPL Simulator in Python with Multi-PHY support. Finally, we demonstrate how multi-PHY integration can be used to achieve longer network lifetime.

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