Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Department of Electronic Engineering

First Advisor

Fergus O'Reilly


Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the development and deployment of intelligent sensors and their use with a plethora of networking protocol technologies. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) can be used to monitor the environment, objects in the environment and the interaction of these objects with each other. Examples include environment and habitat monitoring, structural monitoring, disaster management and emergency response. The deployment of such large-scale WSN possess many challenges, the most important being scalability, portability, fault tolerance, adaptability and ubiquitous connectivity. There also exist many challenges when trying to establish communication with WSN. WSN can function as a stand-alone network, however, a problem arises when communication is required to take place between it and other networks, thus there exists a need to bridge the gap between WSN and other forms of communication networks.

The main contribution of this thesis is to address the communication issue between WSN and fixed IP based networks and some of the other challenges Just outlined, in particular fault tolerance, reliability and portability. These are addressed by the research and implementation of a wireless embedded platform-based gateway to these WSN. Discussed are the many steps involved in the development and deployment of such a gateway. An in-depth investigation is carried out on the different embedded hardware platforms and embedded operating systems applicable for this work. Different communication technologies are also examined, including WLAN, GPRS and Infrared. Results are presented in this work, which show the feasibility of a PDA as a possible solution for the next generation of mobile gateway devices to WSN. Results show that a PDA has all the functionality required such as WLAN and Infrared along with incorporating an embedded Linux operating system for the implementation as a gateway to WSN. Different forms of client-side communication were investigated for overall round trip timings. Quality of service of the WSN was also observed with packet loss and packet error rate being the main areas of interest. From the findings, the QOS of the WSN appeared to be in a controlled stable state.

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