Time Synchronization in Heterogeneous Sensor Networks

TitleTime Synchronization in Heterogeneous Sensor Networks
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAmundson, I., B. Kusy, P. Volgyesi, X. Koutsoukos, and A. Ledeczi
Conference NameInternational Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS'08)
Conference LocationSantorini, Greece

Time synchronization is a critical component in many wireless sensor network applications. Although several synchronization protocols have recently been developed, they tend to break down when implemented on networks of heterogeneous devices consisting of different hardware components and operating systems, and communicate over different network media. In this paper, we present a methodology for time synchronization in heterogeneous sensor networks (HSNs). This includes synchronization between mote and PC networks, a communication pathway that is often used in sensor networks, but has received little attention with respect to time synchronization. In addition, we evaluate clock skew compensation methods including linear regression, exponential averaging, and phase-locked loops. Our HSN synchronization methodology has been implemented as a network service and tested on an experimental testbed. We show that a 6-hop heterogeneous sensor network can be synchronized with an accuracy on the order of microseconds.

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