Industrial Wireless Sensor-Actuator Network Testbed

 Contact: Dr. Mo Sha


Fig. 1 Testbed deployment

To facilitate advanced system research in industrial wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSANs), we have deployed a first-of-its-kind testbed on the campus of Binghamton University (State University of New York at Binghamton). This webpage serves as an overview of the testbed setup and its current deployment. It is a living webpage in the sense that it will be updated as changes to the testbed continue to be made. In the end it will serve as a source of reference for anyone using the testbed to run related experiments.

Fig. 1 shows the testbed deployment, which consists of (i) a subnetwork that connects 50 wireless devices in the Engineering Building to mimic the monitoring and control of a 3D printing factory; (ii) six subnetworks deployed on shuttle buses that circle the university campus to monitor vehicle operations; and (iii) a LoRa base station installed on the roof of the Engineering Building, connected to the central server, and that provides long-distance wireless connections to those subnetworks.


Fig. 2 50 wireless devices deployed in the Engineering Building

A subnetwork that consists of 50 wireless devices is placed throughout 22 office and lab areas in the second floor of the Engineering Building, as (i) shows in Fig. 1. Fig. 2 shows the deployment of wireless devices. The wireless device in the subnetwork is an embedded computer (i.e., Raspberry Pi 3 Model B) integrated with a TelosB mote with a TI MSP430 microcontroller and a TI CC2420 radio compatible with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. To support experimentation and measurements, all devices in the testbed are physically connected to the central server through a wired backplane network that can be used to manage wireless experiments and measurements without interfering with wireless communication. To mimic the monitoring and control system of a 3D printing factory, 10 embedded computers are physically connected to 3D printers to monitor and control their printing processes, while the rest can replay 3D printing data traces.


Fig. 3. Example bus route


Fig. 4 LoRa base station

Six subnetworks are deployed on shuttle buses that circle the university campus to monitor vehicle operations, as (ii) shows in Fig. 1. Fig. 3 plots an example bus route. An embedded computer (i.e., Raspberry Pi 3 Model B) integrated with a SX1272 LoRa shield with a RN2903 radio operating in the 900/915 MHz band is deployed on each bus to maintain a seamless connection to the LoRa base station installed on the roof of the Engineering Building, as (iii) shows in Fig. 1. The LoRa base station is wired connected to the central server. Fig. 4 shows the LoRa base station.

Our testbed is important for a number of reasons:

  • Only few testbeds like ours exist in the world today. By being one of the first to have such a large-scale hierarchical industrial WSAN testbed that supports wireless experiments over ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, and LoRa links, we will be able to conduct experiments that others have previously been unable to run. Our eventual goal is to make the testbed accessible through an user-friendly interface, opening it to researchers across the globe.
  • A series of software tools has been implemented to facilitate wireless experiments. Our testbed software automates the process of programming a large number of devices in parallel, gathers statistics on network behavior during experiments, and provides information to testbed user.
  • The testbed enables the experimental research on industrial WSANs. The testbed can run our implementations of a series of industrial wireless network protocols, algorithms, and systems, such as time slotted channel hopping (TSCH) and reliable graph routing, which allows us to conduct experimental research on this important class of WSANs.


This work is supported by the NSF under a CRII grant (CRII-1657275) and the faculty startup fund offered by SUNY at Binghamton.

We thank SUNY at Binghamton, the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Department of Computer Science for the administrative support.

We thank our IT specialists (Dave Hall and Robert L Mess) and our colleagues at the Information Technology Services (Joe Roth, Chris Wandell, Andrew Weisskopf, Alan D Wan, John D Frattone, Thomas McCabe, and Scott T Hoeppner) and the Engineering Laboratories and Learning Environments (Vincent Brady) for assisting us in deploying and maintaining the testbed.