This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Using a Helio Based Protocol in a Battlefield Sensor Network with Directional Antennas and Enhanced Security




Strickland, Fred

Type of Degree



Computer Science and Software Engineering


The problem is that current battlefield sensors are deployed close to each other, are draining batteries at a fast pace, are using protocols that result in late and coarse grain information, and put the human operator at risk. In labs and in graduate research, the problem solving approach is to address a small segment of an area. The other issues are assumed to be solved or are left to someone else to address. As a result, when someone attempts to pull together the various solutions, mismatches and conicts arise. This dissertation project used an integrated approach of addressing at the same time some of the software, hardware, and security issues for supporting a wireless environment. For example, the public safety world needs the ability to locate a person or an asset with a minimal amount of infrastructure and overhead. Current technology does a poor job of pinpointing the exact location and tends to provide information in two-dimensions. (Closely related to this is the issue of locating users that are using access points.) Another example is a sensor network whereby most solutions result in energy-demanding approaches. The narrow focus of this dissertation project has been the battlefield sensor network. In additional to the normal challenges of establishing and maintaining the network, there are the requirements to operate undetected. The current approach is to use minimal transmitter power, which requires the close spacing of the sensors. But this approach has some drawbacks. For example, when there are many sensors in an area, the likelihood of a chance discovery increases. Closely related to this drawback are two other problems: Greater network congestion and greater likelihood of signal interception. Our novel concept could solve many problems and have enhanced security. Our proposed approach makes the following assumptions: 1. The base station or the net control station (NCS) has the following capabilities: (a) Able to communicate with many nodes at the same time on several channels. (b) Very robust with high speed processing for handling large volume of information. (c) Unlimited power. (No batteries used.) (d) Directional antenna with active sectors. 2. The nodes have the following capabilities: (a) Function as a sensor. (b) Transmit straight to the NCS. (c) Able to change frequencies and channels. (d) Receive control messages. Simulation and real world experience show that these and other problems could be solved in a simple energy-saving way. ""All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."" --German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)