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performance comparison of wireless sensor network standard protocols in an aerospace environment: isa100.11a and zigbee proStandards-based wireless sensor network (WSN) protocols are promising candidates for spacecraft avionics systems, offering unprecedented instrumentation flexibility and expandability. Ensuring reliable data transport is key, however, when migrating from wired to wireless data gathering systems. In this paper, we conduct a rigorous laboratory analysis of the relative performances of the ZigBee Pro and ISA100.11a protocols in a representative crewed aerospace environment. Since both operate in the 2.4 GHz radio frequency (RF) band shared by systems such as Wi-Fi, they are subject at times to potentially debilitating RF interference. We compare goodput (application-level throughput) achievable by both under varying levels of 802.11g Wi-Fi traffic. We conclude that while the simpler, more inexpensive ZigBee Pro protocol performs well under moderate levels of interference, the more complex and costly ISA100.11a protocol is needed to ensure reliable data delivery under heavier interference. This paper represents the first published, rigorous analysis of WSN protocols in an aerospace environment that we are aware of and the first published head-to-head comparison of ZigBee Pro and ISA100.11a.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wagner, Raymond S.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Barton, Richard J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2011
Subject Category
Avionics and Aircraft Instrumentation
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
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