A Radio and Network Planning Tool for Community Networks

Presenter : Ganesh Gopal

Type: Poster

With rise and proliferation of Wireless Community Networks [1], there is a need for planning, executing and maintaining the network from scratch. Typically small groups of individuals collaboratively build local networks in the form of wireless mesh networks, for communication, resource sharing and for providing local services that benefit the community. More often than not, these individuals are amateurs who are interested in networking and/or motivated by decentralization and commons infrastructure. Hence, most of the times, a community network is organized and implemented without any system of planning. Although there are ample resources on the internet shared by fast growing wireless/mesh network communities, these resources focus on individual parts of the network, like routing, antenna building, P2P applications, etc,. There is a need for resources and tools for planning and implementing a network. With that in mind, we propose a radio and network planning tool, that will help the communities in creating a network from scratch. We leverage the terrain [2], clutter [3] and vegetation [4] information from GIS, for choosing a local region suitable for bootstrapping the network, and to aid in strategic placement of nodes. The collected information is further processed and fed as input to a RF propagation/path-loss analysis sub-system [5], along with selected antenna design parameters. This RF planning tool enables surveying, link budgeting, network planning and facilitates the community to make decisions that are critical to field deployment of nodes, like antenna mounting, signal loss, etc,.

[1] Wireless Networking in the Developing World http://wndw.net/book.html
[2] USGS, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
[3] https://www.openstreetmap.org/
[4] Xie YC, Sha ZY, Yu M. Remote sensing imagery in vegetation mapping: an
[5] SPLAT! A Terrestrial RF Path Analysis Application For Linux/Unix
[6] Qing, Li, GIS Aided Radio Wave Propagation Modeling and Analysis
[7] Haber, Rana, et al., A support vector machine for terrain classification in
on-demand deployments of wireless sensor networks