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Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8633-8668; doi:10.3390/s140508633
Article

Implementation of WirelessHART in the NS-2 Simulator and Validation of Its Correctness

1,* , 1
, 1
, 2
, 3
 and 3
1 Pervasive Systems Group, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, Enschede 7500AE, The Netherlands 2 Deloitte Management Consulting, Laan van Kronenburg 2, Amstelveen 1183AS, The Netherlands 3 Department of Electronics for the Automation, University of Brescia, Via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

One of the first standards in the wireless sensor networks domain,WirelessHART (HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer)), was introduced to address industrial process automation and control requirements. This standard can be used as a reference point to evaluate other wireless protocols in the domain of industrial monitoring and control. This makes it worthwhile to set up a reliable WirelessHART simulator in order to achieve that reference point in a relatively easy manner. Moreover, it offers an alternative to expensive testbeds for testing and evaluating the performance of WirelessHART. This paper explains our implementation of WirelessHART in the NS-2 network simulator. According to our knowledge, this is the first implementation that supports the WirelessHART network manager, as well as the whole stack (all OSI (Open Systems Interconnection model) layers) of the WirelessHART standard. It also explains our effort to validate the correctness of our implementation, namely through the validation of the implementation of the WirelessHART stack protocol and of the network manager. We use sniffed traffic from a realWirelessHART testbed installed in the Idrolab plant for these validations. This confirms the validity of our simulator. Empirical analysis shows that the simulated results are nearly comparable to the results obtained from real networks. We also demonstrate the versatility and usability of our implementation by providing some further evaluation results in diverse scenarios. For example, we evaluate the performance of the WirelessHART network by applying incremental interference in a multi-hop network.
Keywords: WirelessHART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer); NS-2 (network simulator 2); realistic simulation; validation; IEEE 802.15.4e WirelessHART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer); NS-2 (network simulator 2); realistic simulation; validation; IEEE 802.15.4e
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zand, P.; Mathews, E.; Havinga, P.; Stojanovski, S.; Sisinni, E.; Ferrari, P. Implementation of WirelessHART in the NS-2 Simulator and Validation of Its Correctness. Sensors 2014, 14, 8633-8668.

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