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Information 2018, 9(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9050122

A Calibrated Test-Set for Measurement of Access-Point Time Specifications in Hybrid Wired/Wireless Industrial Communication

1
National Research Council of Italy, CNR-IEIIT, 35131 Padova, Italy
2
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, 351231 Padova, Italy
This paper is an extended and improved version of our paper published at the 2012 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, Graz, Austria, 13–16 May 2012.
Current address: Via Gradenigo 6/B, I-35131 Padova, Italy.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communications Technology)
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Abstract

In factory automation and process control systems, hybrid wired/wireless networks are often deployed to connect devices of difficult reachability such as those mounted on mobile equipment. A widespread implementation of these networks makes use of Access Points (APs) to implement wireless extensions of Real-Time Ethernet (RTE) networks via the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (WLAN). Unfortunately, APs may introduce random delays in frame forwarding, mainly related to their internal behavior (e.g., queue management, processing times), that clearly impact the overall worst case execution time of real-time tasks involved in industrial process control systems. As a consequence, the knowledge of such delays becomes a crucial design parameter, and their estimation is definitely of utter importance. In this scenario, the paper presents an original and effective method to measure the aforementioned delays introduced by APs, exploiting a hybrid loop-back link and a simple, yet accurate set-up with moderate instrumentation requirements. The proposed method, which requires an initial calibration phase by means of a reference AP, has been successfully tested on some commercial APs to prove its effectiveness. The proposed measurement procedure is proven to be general and, as such, can be profitably adopted in even different scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: real-time systems; industrial networks; calibration; measurements; access point; IEEE 802.11; WLAN real-time systems; industrial networks; calibration; measurements; access point; IEEE 802.11; WLAN
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Tramarin, F.; Narduzzi, C.; Vitturi, S.; Bertocco, M. A Calibrated Test-Set for Measurement of Access-Point Time Specifications in Hybrid Wired/Wireless Industrial Communication . Information 2018, 9, 122.

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