Utilization of Received Signal Strength Indication by Embedded Nodes
Wireless sensor networks have presented multiple opportunities, but also several challenges to researchers. Tools are needed to overcome these challenges. Received signal strength indication (RSSI) is one possible tool since it could theoretically be used to determine the distance between two communicating nodes. However in reality, in addition to distance, RSSI is affected by quite a few other factors, making distance estimates extremely unreliable. We carried out three different studies with MicaZ smart dust motes to examine in realistic operating conditions the effects of distance, transmission strength, antenna characteristics, environmental and radio interferences on the RSSI value. The studies show that while many of the effects are easily observable, it is difficult to recognize the causes solely based on the RSSI value. The high level of indeterminism in the environment causes RSSI to have little practical value in realistic deployments. Ill. 6, bibl. 6 (in English; summaries in English, Russian and Lithuanian).
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