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Microsecond-Accuracy Time Synchronization Using the IEEE 802.15.4 TSCH Protocol
University of Bristol, UK.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS. Inria, France.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7592-1048
University of Bristol, UK.
University of Bristol, UK.
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2017 (English)In: 2016 IEEE 41st Conference on Local Computer Networks Workshops (LCN Workshops), IEEE Computer Society , 2017, p. 156-164, article id 7856151Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Time-Slotted Channel Hopping from the IEEE 802.15.4-2015 standard requires that network nodes are tightly time-synchronized. Existing implementations of TSCH on embedded hardware are characterized by tens-of-microseconds large synchronization errors; higher synchronization accuracy would enable reduction of idle listening time on receivers, in this way decreasing the energy required to run TSCH. For some applications, it would also allow to replace dedicated time synchronization mechanisms with TSCH. We show that time synchronization errors in the existing TSCH implementations on embedded hardware are caused primarily by imprecise clock drift estimations, rather than by real unpredictable drift variance. By estimating clock drift more precisely and by applying adaptive time compensation on each node in the network, we achieve microsecond accuracy time synchronization on point-to-point links and a < 2 μs end-to-end error in a 7-node line topology. Our solution is implemented in the Contiki operating system and tested on Texas Instruments CC2650-based nodes, equipped with common off-the-shelf hardware clock sources (±20 ppm drift). Our implementation uses only standard TSCH control messages and is able to keep radio duty cycle below 1 %.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society , 2017. p. 156-164, article id 7856151
Keywords [en]
Clocks, Computer hardware, Computer networks, Error compensation, Errors, Estimation, Hardware, Standards, Common off the shelves, Contiki operating systems, Microsecond accuracy, Point-to-point link, Synchronization error, Time compensations, Time synchronization, Time synchronization errors, Synchronization
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-38646DOI: 10.1109/LCN.2016.042Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85017506417ISBN: 9781509023479 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-38646DiVA, id: diva2:1314722
Conference
41st IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks Workshops (LCN Workshops 2016), November 7-10, 2016, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Available from: 2019-05-09 Created: 2019-05-09 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved

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