"FLEXTOP at UniBo"

Flexible Topology Testbed (FLEXTOP) – FLEXTOP is a platform composed of one hundred programmable wireless nodes and a dedicated software environment developed in previous projects. The radio transceivers are manufactured by Texas Instruments and are IEEE 802.15.4 compliant (PHY and MAC). IEEE 802.15.4 is the de facto standard technology for wireless sensor networks and the current best option for the development of test beds for testing Internet of things (IoT) solutions. The nodes have been jointly conceived in order to permit OTA programming of the firmware that implements the protocol stack. Through this platform any protocol stack compatible with 802.15.4 can be tested (e.g. Zigbee, or 6lowPAN/ROLL as proposed by many IoT developers, etc.).


FLEXTOP is a remotely accessible testbed. While it will be deployed at the premises of the University of Bologna, researchers will be able to upload their firmware implementing the protocol stack (above MAC) on the wireless nodes, run the experiments and download the log files including all experiments’ results.

The wireless nodes are deployed according to a fixed grid of positions in a corridor. However, the researcher using the testbed can set different values of transmit powers achieving very different network topologies (linear, star, double linear, etc.). In particular, nodes can be turned on and off independently during the experiments, and the creation of sub-sets of networks is possible. At start of each experiment, the network will automatically measure and generate the 100x100 matrix of channel gains, which will be useful to certify the propagation environment. Experiments will be run at night, when nobody is allowed to walk in the corridor: therefore the experimental environment will be stable for the full duration, making experiment results certified.

Packet Error Rates, Delays and Throughput are the performance figures that can be captured from the wireless network during the experiments.






This laboratory is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the FP7 Network of Excellence in Wireless COMmunications NEWCOM# (Grant agreement no. 318306).

7 Framework Programme

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