Date of Award

11-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)

Department

Computing and Software

Supervisor

W.F.S Poehlman

Language

English

Abstract

Lack of generality in deployment of Wireless Sensor Networks gives rise to many application specific research questions. In order to maintain safe levels of radiation, a Sensor Network can be used to provide greater flexibility within the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR). Sensor Networks have conventionally been deployed in natural habitat areas, and to our knowledge, this is the first attempt to model its behavior inside a research reactor. This application specific scenario provides insight in derermining the suitability of embedding Sensor Networks in nuclear reactors. Traditional networks have been designed to accommodate various applications. In this case, we believe that sensor networks, which serve a specific task, can be customized depending on the application. By tailoring a Sensor Network for the Nuclear Reactor, one will be able to maximize efficiency.

This thesis states a set of requirements for deploying a Sensor Network in the MNR. By using these requirements, the challenges surrounding Sensor Network communications were studied. These results are to provide McMaster's Health Physics department with the proper guidance if choosing to deploy such a network. The research defines the optimal MAC, and Sensor Network routing protocols for the reactor. The metrics used to determine optimality are reliability, latency, scalability, and lifetime. The approach to determine the suitability of sensor networks in the MNR is a discrete-event simulator called J-Sim. J-Sim is extended to simulate the various protocols that were studied in this research including One-Hop, Multi-Hop, LEACH, TDMA, and CSMA. Results indicate that a modified version of LEACH, called MNRLEACH, best suits the needs of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor.

McMaster University Library

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