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Research Project

Wirelss Network Tests

Applications > Seismic > CENS Seismic Mexico Deployment > Wirelss Network Tests

On this page: Overview | Approach | Systems/Experiments | Accomplishments | Future Directions | People

Lead Investigators

Paul Davis, Deborah Estrin, Richard Guy, Vianayak Naik


We conducted a study to characterize the MASE wireless seismic array. Due to the unique geographic and application characteristics of the system, such a study has never been done before. The results from the study should be applicable to future wide area 802.11b wireless sensing systems that are planned for such systems as NEON and WATERS Observatories.


The MASE system was deployed to provide unprecedented spatial resolution in seismic sensing (See Seismic Section). System characterization had to be conducted in vivo, without disturbing system operation. In fact, part of the importance of this work, is characterizing a system in operation. We used the wireless signal strength and the network throughput as metrics for the characterization since these metrics can be measured in a passive manner, thereby minimally affecting the current operation of the network.


We instrumented a majority of the seismic nodes to measure the following details about the wireless network: signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) for each received packet and TCP throughput. We conducted experiments over a period of 2 months starting from Dec’06 to measure the network characteristics in terms of SNR and throughput. We also studied the impact of the wireless tuning on the overall performance of the network.


The wireless characterization resulted from our experiment will guide us to improve the network performance of the future deployments, such as the redeployment of the seismic array to southern Peru. A complete writeup was completed in March 07 and submitted to ACM Mobicom.

Future Directions

We are preparing a tutorial on the CENS seismic array technology to be given at the 6th International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN 2007). Boston, MA on April 24, 2007. The tutorial will introduce the software and hardware platform, with particular focus on those features that  contribute to the robustness and scalability of the seismic sensing system. For the system, we will describe the key components of the system in detail, set up the array, demonstrate the use of the system, run the self-configuration software, delve into the details of the sampling and system software, and analyze data coming from the system; we will also write some simple programs to modify the nodes behavior, giving hands-on training for wireless seismic sensing systems.