Open Access Research Article

Design and Implementation of a Testbed for IEEE 802.15.4 (Zigbee) Performance Measurements

PatrickR Casey, KemalE Tepe* and Narayan Kar

Author Affiliations

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, N9B 3P4

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2010, 2010:103406  doi:10.1155/2010/103406

Published: 8 April 2010

Abstract

IEEE 802.15.4, commonly known as ZigBee, is a Media Access Control (MAC) and physical layer standard specifically designed for short range wireless communication where low rate, low power, and low bandwidth are required. This makes ZigBee an ideal choice when it comes to sensor networks for monitoring data collection and/or triggering process responses. However, these very characteristics bring into question ZigBee's ability to perform reliably in harsh environments. This paper thoroughly explains the experimental testbed setup and execution to demonstrate ZigBee's performance in several practical applications. This testbed is capable of measuring the minimum, maximum, and average received signal strength indicator (RSSI), bit error rate (BER), packet error rate (PER), packet loss rate (PLR), and the bit error locations. Results show that ZigBee has the potential capabilities to be used in all four tested environments.