Hybrid ground-aerial mesh networks for IoT monitoring applications: network design and software platform development

Montecchiari, Leonardo (2023) Hybrid ground-aerial mesh networks for IoT monitoring applications: network design and software platform development, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Monitoraggio e gestione delle strutture e dell'ambiente - sehm2, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10952.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown rapidly in recent years, leading to an increased need for efficient and secure communication between connected devices. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are composed of small, low-power devices that are capable of sensing and exchanging data, and are often used in IoT applications. In addition, Mesh WSNs involve intermediate nodes forwarding data to ensure more robust communication. The integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Mesh WSNs has emerged as a promising solution for increasing the effectiveness of data collection, as UAVs can act as mobile relays, providing extended communication range and reducing energy consumption. However, the integration of UAVs and Mesh WSNs still poses new challenges, such as the design of efficient control and communication strategies. This thesis explores the networking capabilities of WSNs and investigates how the integration of UAVs can enhance their performance. The research focuses on three main objectives: (1) Ground Wireless Mesh Sensor Networks, (2) Aerial Wireless Mesh Sensor Networks, and (3) Ground/Aerial WMSN integration. For the first objective, we investigate the use of the Bluetooth Mesh standard for IoT monitoring in different environments. The second objective focuses on deploying aerial nodes to maximize data collection effectiveness and QoS of UAV-to-UAV links while maintaining the aerial mesh connectivity. The third objective investigates hybrid WMSN scenarios with air-to-ground communication links. One of the main contribution of the thesis consists in the design and implementation of a software framework called "Uhura", which enables the creation of Hybrid Wireless Mesh Sensor Networks and abstracts and handles multiple M2M communication stacks on both ground and aerial links. The operations of Uhura have been validated through simulations and small-scale testbeds involving ground and aerial devices.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Montecchiari, Leonardo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
IoT, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Robotic communications, M2M, Resilient communications
Data di discussione
20 Giugno 2023

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