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IEEE Global Communications Conference

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Cryptography, Leakage currents, power consumption, Security of data, Telecommunication security


In this work we propose and demonstrate a protocol for a time synchronized channel hopping mesh network for wireless transceivers that use exclusively imprecise and inaccurate on-chip oscillators. This protocol is built on an IEEE 802.15.4 physical layer radio that enables interoperability with protocols such as 6TiSCH or Thread. A calibration-bootstrapped multi-hop mesh network is demonstrated with a single crystal-enabled node acting as the root. The protocol is designed to create a multi-hop mesh while compensating noisy and drifting oscillators and timers. With a 4 s synchronization period, an experimental implementation of the network maintains, in the worst case, 1.8 ms 3σ absolute time synchronization and 820 µs 3σ hop-to-hop synchronization across four hops, under ambient environmental conditions. The resistance to environmental variation is tested by varying one node's supply voltage. With time and frequency feedback from received packets, the node maintains this synchronization with a supply variation of 2.5 mV/s, which is equivalent to a temperature variation of 10°C/min with a packet rate of 0.5 Hz.


© Copyright the author(s) 2024


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published as: Maksimovic, F., Patel, A., Burnett, D., Watteyne, T., & Pister, K. S. (2023, December). A Time Synchronized Multi-Hop Mesh Network with Crystal-Free Nodes. In GLOBECOM 2023-2023 IEEE Global Communications Conference (pp. 4158-4163). IEEE.



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