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Open AccessArticle

A Fairness Oriented Neighbor-Channel-Aware MAC Protocol for Airborne Sensor Networks

by Xiaolin Gao 1,2, Jian Yan 3,* and Jianhua Lu 1
1
Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Beijing 100094, China
3
Tsinghua Space Center, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohamed F. Younis
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051130
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
In airborne sensor networks (ASNs), the media access control (MAC) protocol faces a serious unfairness problem due to the traditional protection mechanism of air-to-air communications among aircraft. Actually, by using the binary exponential back-off algorithm at high traffic loads to minimize collisions among users, the latest successful node can always benefit from this kind of MAC to obtain channel resources. Moreover, when taking the existence of the hidden nodes in ASNs into account, the inaccurate traffic load information will further aggravate the system’s unfairness. In this paper, a neighbor-channel-aware (NCA) protocol is proposed to improve the fairness of MAC protocol in ASNs. In the proposal, the NCA frame is firstly added and exchanged between neighbor nodes periodically, which helps to resolve the inaccurate traffic load information, so as to avoid reducing the probability of successful message transmission. Then a traffic-loading based back-off algorithm is involved to make the neighbor nodes cooperatively adjust the inter-frame space (IFS) interval to further reduce the unfairness. The simulation results show that, the proposed MAC protocol can guarantee the satisfied fairness, simultaneously avoiding heavy network overloads to protect key messages’ successful transmissions in ASNs. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne sensor networks; media access control; fairness; neighbor-channel-aware; back-off airborne sensor networks; media access control; fairness; neighbor-channel-aware; back-off
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Gao, X.; Yan, J.; Lu, J. A Fairness Oriented Neighbor-Channel-Aware MAC Protocol for Airborne Sensor Networks. Sensors 2017, 17, 1130.

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