Evaluating the Use of Motes and TinyOS for a Mobile Sensor Platform

J. Thomsen (Denmark) and D. Husemann (Switzerland)


Sensor networks, communications, operating systems,TinyOS, motes, IEEE 802.15.4.


Monitoring containers during transport in a secure, tamper resistant, and reliable manner, is the subject of the IBM Secure Trade Lane project (STL). We have evaluated a platform based on motes (i.e. very small computers) and TinyOS as the base for communication in STL. We im plemented an IEEE 802.15.4 full functional device (FFD) MAC layer with beacon support, and we discovered that running this MAC layer was too much for the motes. We saw starvation and we experienced a far too slow data trans fer between layers in TinyOS. We tried to overcome the starvation problems by introducing means to limit the high number of timer interrupts required by the MAC layer. Our approach is called Adaptive Timer Resolution, but it did not solve our problems in this case. We concluded that motes and TinyOS are insuf´Čücient for the 802.15.4 FFD MAC layer and that this platform is having problems run ning applications with a high frequency of interrupts, and still execute useful code in between. Our contributins are the evaluation of the mote plat form by pushing it beyond its limits and our timer resolu tion control mechanism Adaptive Timer Resolution.

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