Wi-Fi QoS improvements for industrial automation

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Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Communications Engineering
Degree programme
CCIS - Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences (TS2013)
Digitalization caused a considerable increase in the use of industrial automation applications. Industrial automation applications use real-time traffic with strict requirements of connection of tens of devices, high-reliability, determinism, low-latency, and synchronization. The current solutions meeting these requirements are wired technologies. However, there is a need for wireless technologies for mobility,less complexity, and quick deployment. There are many studies on cellular technologies for industrial automation scenarios with strict reliability and latency requirements, but not many developments for wireless communications over unlicensed bands. Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is a commonly used and preferred technology in factory automation since it is supported by many applications and operates on a license free-band. However, there is still room for improving Wi-Fi systems performance for low-latency and high-reliable communication requirements in industrial automation use cases. There are various limitations in the current Wi-Fi system restraining the deployment for time-critical operations. For meeting the strict timing requirements of low delay and jitter in industrial automation applications, Quality of Service (QoS)in Wi-Fi needs to be improved. In this thesis, a new access category in Medium Access Control (MAC) layer for industrial automation applications is proposed.The performance improvement is analyzed with simulations, and a jitter definition for a Wi-Fi system is studied. Then, a fixed Modulation and Coding (MCS) link adaptation method and bounded delay is implemented for time-critical traffic in the simulation cases to observe performance changes. Finally, it is shown that the new access category with no backoff time can decrease the delay and jitter of time-critical applications. The improvements in Wi-Fi QoS are shown in comparison with the current standard, and additional enhancements about using a fixed modulation and coding scheme and implementation of a bounded delay are also analyzed in this thesis
Jäntti, Riku
Thesis advisor
Del Carpio, Luis Felipe
Wi-Fi, QoS, IEEE 802.11, MAC, end-to-end delay, jitter
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