The design of a communication protocol for a reconfigurable wireless animal tracking mesh network
Van der Spuy, Charles James
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Animal poaching, especially rhino poaching has become a crisis in South Africa. As part of the initiatives to combat rhino poaching, rhinos are tracked using electronic equipment such as sensor devices. Sensors that are used to track wildlife, e.g. rhinos, are expensive to attach and replace. For this reason, it is desirable to replace the sensors as seldom as possible. The sensors are energy efficient, limiting the transmission power and reducing the connection range. Our project partner, YRless international working in the field of animal tracking, requires a system that can overcome these constraints. Due to the recent advances in computing, communication, sensing and miniaturisation of devices, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) environment has been receiving significant attention. A sensor network implementing UAVs can be utilised to perform any power draining operations and extend the connection range. The focus of this research is the design of a communication protocol that operates in the UAV system. The protocol is designed by combining well-known protocols (Ad Hoc On Demand Distance Vector (AODV) and Dynamic Source Routing (DSR)) and network architectures (Delay-Tolerant Networks (DTNs)). The protocol is then formally specified. As verification and validation, the identified protocol components’ (includes network functions such as routing update, landing update, data send and position update) functionalities are tested using a Java simulation. Further, the performance of the protocol is tested using a Monte Carlo simulation. A test network is simulated with induced transmission and node failures. The performance regarding the delay and reliability are recorded. As an elaboration of the performance tests, the influence of collisions in the network is also tested. As a result, we see that node failures have a more detrimental effect on the performance of the protocol than transmission failures. The data send network function is the most reliable network function that verifies our design choices. The functional and performance tests demonstrate that the protocol satisfies the initial requirements set by the industry partner.
- Engineering