Wireless Plug and Play Control Systems: Hardware, Networks, and Protocols

Soroush Afkhami Meybodi

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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This dissertation reports the result of efforts to identify and solve the problems that arise when a control system is to be designed for various industrial case studies of the Plug and Play Process Control (P3C) project that require autonomous addition/removal of sensors, actuators and subsystems. The scope is, however, constrained to the challenges that are relevant to the wireless communication framework which provides underlying services for plug and play control systems. Other aspects of plug and play control systems are studied in other research projects within P3C.
The main results of this PhD project are presented in two distinct areas which are: 1) Signal propagation in underground and confined areas, and 2) Access and Networking protocols that accommodate the required flexibility, scalability, and quality of services for plug and play control systems.
The first category finds application in only one of the P3C case studies where all of the nodes of the wireless networked control system are placed underground and should be able to transmit data among themselves. It is not a trivial problem because the well known radio frequency electromagnetic waves face serious difficulties penetrating the damp soil medium. To overcome the challenge, all potentially useful signal propagation methods are surveyed either by reviewing the open literature, or by doing simulations, or even running experiments. At the end, Magnetic Induction (MI) is chosen as the winning candidate.
New findings are achieved in antenna design of magneto-inductive communication systems. They are verified by simulations and experiments. It is shown, via simulations, that MI is a reliable signal propagation technique for the full-scale case study: Distributed Control of the New Generation of District Heating Systems. The experimental results second simulation outcomes, but only in small scale. Therefore, it is essential to run full-scale tests in order to verify viability of the solution for the real problem.
The second category is an indispensible part of any network-based application, and is studied in sake of selecting the protocols that can fulfill the stringent requirements of P3C case studies in general. In this part, after a thorough review of available Access and Routing protocols in industrial wireless networks, a combination of a deterministic Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol and a clustered flooding-based routing is recommended for wireless plug and play control systems. Formation and maintenance of clusters of nodes are directly linked to the top level application layer via a novel application-based routing metric. The proposed routing metric facilitates implementation of the networking
topology in accordance with the control topology. Functionality of the new routing metric is verified by simulations within a flooding-based routing algorithm.
The results of this research project create a clear and concise interface for the other work packages of P3C which are concluded earlier.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages181
ISBN (Print)978-87-92328-93-9
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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