Design support for robust wireless sensor network applications
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) get increasing importance in application areas like home auto-mation, facility management, health care, and ambient assisted living. Applications on WSNs are expected to utilize a large number of nodes in heterogeneous environments. They are too com-plex to be developed in the traditional way of prototyping and debugging. In fact, new tech-niques are needed to support the design of WSN applications efficiently. dresden elektronik inge-nieurtechnik gmbh and Fraunhofer EAS cooperate in a joint project to develop a design platform for these applications. This design platform comprises a simulation framework and an emulation platform. Simulation is an important method to decrease design time and to increase design quality. This is crucial for the application areas mentioned above since very high reliability and robustness are required. The WSN simulation framework extends existing network simulation approaches. It is complemented by an emulation platform which can form test systems of up to 1000 nodes with different configurable topologies. The aim is the emulation of typical application scenarios to test load situations and corner cases as well as to parameterize the simulation mod-els. Combining the simulation framework and the emulation platform it becomes possible to analyze very complex WSN scenarios and their application level robustness to be expected prior to the actual implementation of the systems. The paper introduces this design platform, discusses some challenges, and presents first results.