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Title: P4-network : a networking infrastructure for intra-aircraft cabin wireless communication
Authors: Pham, Chau Khoa.
Keywords: DRNTU::Engineering::Electrical and electronic engineering::Wireless communication systems
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Intra-cabin communication is a key challenge in building entertainment and operating systems for next generation aircraft, and is a challenge that has attracted significant re-search in recent years. Many potential systems are available commercially, and several systems are currently in service. For these existing wired systems, there are three signifi-cant challenges need to be solved: the weight of wires needed to connect the systems, the potential for electromagnetic interference caused by the systems, and the scalability of the systems for future needs as well as future aircraft. The anticipated adoption of wireless systems addresses the first two issues, but not the third. In this project, infrared-based communication has been adopted as an attractive wireless solution. The project focuses on peer-to-peer communication schemes, and en-compasses the use of redundant communication paths as a method to address the problem of line-of-sight blocking. This project also considers another practical issue, namely that the current centralised server architecture in aircraft entertainment systems has resulted in data congestion and scalability limitations. This report proposes a network architecture, named the PEER-TO-POINT-TO-POINT-TO-PEER (P4) NETWORK, consisting of point-to-point infrared-based communication paths with an overall high level of redundancy. A machine-learning routing approach, Q-ROUTING, is employed to increase the data rates by combining several redundant commu-nication paths. The proposed realisation of this routing algorithm, Q-ROUTING PROTOCOL, is a distributed, dynamic, lightweight and adaptive routing protocol, making it possible to interconnect multiple LANs without the existence of a central server, as well as to in-crease the stability of the overall network to temporal individual link breakdowns. Furthermore, this report also describes a software infrastructure, namely the P4 PROTOCOL SUITE, which efficiently implements the proposed ideas on the Windows OS platform. The core component of this infrastructure is the P4-BRIDGE, which interconnects the TCP/IP and IrDA protocol stacks. P4-BRIDGE transparently intercepts TCP/IP packets and route them over the infrared-links, if necessary. Throughout each short phase of the SCOUTING PROJECT, which is the industrial project that this work is part of, different versions have been developed: the P4-NETWORK SIMULATOR, the P4-ENGINE and the P4-DRIVER. Firstly, the P4-NETWORK SIMULATOR emu-lates the entire network and reveals the possibility of streaming high-definition movies across the network. Next, utilising the highest development platform, P4-ENGINE realises the proposed ideas and shows a video streaming application in the real network. Lastly, although being under continuing development, P4-DRIVER has enabled the availability of the network to a wide range of compatible applications. The network is tested with exist-ing application software such as pinging, file transferring and even Windows file sharing. In particular, a pinging test over a path of four hops takes less than a hundred millise-conds. As a primitive but fundamental result, this work has shown different promising aspects of the proposed solution on a limited hardware platform, including stability, availability, scalability and high performance. Nevertheless, further research and experi-ments need to be carried out to fully exploit the redundancy architecture of the P4-NETWORK.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SCSE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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