Optimum antenna configuration for maximizing access point range of an IEEE 802.11 wireless mesh network in support of multi-mission operations relative to hastily formed scalable deployments
Lounsbury, Robert Lee.
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Applied Science and Technology Studies (COASTS) international field experimentation program at the naval Postgraduate School (NPS) aims to meet this challenge head-on, building a system of systems with technologies available now. A large part of the enabling network for COASTS is an IEEE 802.11 wireless mesh, deployed on the ground, on the sea, and in the air. This thesis tests and evaluates various antenna configurations, using the latest equipment available, building on lessons learned from the COASTS 2005 field experiment. Data is then used to determine the optimum design which allows the greatest range and throughput for the COASTS 2006 topology. Input from NPS advisors, COASTS commercial partners, including Mesh Dynamics, Mercury Data Systems, and the Air Force Force Protection Battlelab, along with extensive testing of available antennas over multiple field experiments, culminates in the successful field testing of the 802.11 network topology. The final configuration provides an impressive and highly reliable aerial and ground based access point range and throughput for the network.
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