2502 West Colorado Ave., Suite 203 · Colorado Springs, CO 80904 ·
Voice 719.636.2040 · Fax 719.528.5869 ·Wireless Web http://wireless.oldcolo.com
Scope of Tests
This Project seeks to test wireless connections under practical-use field conditions. To the extent practicable the network configurations will duplicate the configurations which would be used if the networks were all wired. The basic measurments will determine:
Once the networks are set up, and after the equipment has been bench tested to determine variations in different radios, or systems, they will be adjusted for optimum performance for the intended uses. These will include:
- End-to-end throughput when connected to servers
- Reliability over time, and varying load
- Fluctuations of available bandwidth over time
- Interoperability with wired networks
- Variations of performance when transmitting
- different kinds of data
The data flow which will be measured will be generated by:
- Point to point highest speed connections for singular video, sound, animated graphical display and interaction on single presentation platforms.
- Point to point connection from remote router or terminal server to local server and local networks.
- Signal relayed by intermediate radios with relay capabilites.
- Multiple radios connecting through singular base radio to and from servers, routers, or individual computers.
- Operations through multiple walls of an institution.
- Operations close to, and remote from, potential sources of interference.
- Radios used as 'extensions' to wired networks from local networks, or servers - to field use, to the closest available phone modem points, or to sub-lans.
The points of measurement will be:
- Normal, unspecified, usage of networks by those at workstations, display systems, or with singular computers, doing normal daily work.
- Controlled tests where users will be asked to access specific data of varying characteristics which we will have assembled and placed in known access points.
- Special tests we will conduct on each radio network. This will include operating over the wireless network to and from computers which are isolated from general network conditions. To insure known data rate peformance at the originating end.
Besides instrumentation and software-based measurements, data logs will be kept by using institutions at selected workstations. This will include outage reports as well as performance reports. And users will be permitted to record subjective reactions to end-user experience coming through the wireless net. Their perceptions of speed, smoothness, aberations - as compared with their experience with wired networks.
- At radios
- At output ports of wireless systems
- Within servers and routers
- At workstation points
Data will be kept on weather and environmental conditions to be correlated with performance of wireless networks.
Data will be kept on the frequency of necessary wireless net troubleshooting episodes.
Typical end user data and network functions will be exercised. Such as text, text and graphics, web page access, sound, online voice, CuSeeMe sessions, compressed video and whiteboard sessions. The proposal procures currently used software and equipment used to generate such data.
As supported by the equipments utilized, data will be collected on radio link data transmission performance. These statistics are valuable in determining how radio performance differs from that of wirelines, e.g., what external performance parameters might be adjusted to get better throughput, what protocol enhancements might be considered in next generation wireless equipments, or what the end-to-end throughput is as a percentage of channel rate. Little actual experience data is published for radio systems of the kind proposed. Theories abound, particularly regarding the efficiency of certain protocols. Even the small amount of data this Project is likely to produce will add significantly to the available body of knowledge.
The collected data will be reviewed and analyzed, preliminary findings drawn up by the end of the first half of Phase 2 and publicized in web page as well as ftp, modem dial up, accessible form on Old Colorado City's Internet servers - as preliminary findings.
Adjustment to tests which produced inconclusive results, and additional tests will be performed the second half of Phase 2.
The final data will be collected and analyzed at the end of Phase 2.
The final report will be in two forms. The NSF Report according to its requirements, and a highly readable report that presents the data, the findings, but also the 'factors' which have to be considered in employing wireless devices into networks. This report will be both put online in Web format and published as a Guide to Wireless for distribution.
The public report will be rewritten by a professional technical writer/publisher who will produce in specified number of copies - 2,500 being a practicable target, for on-demand distribution.
Equipment and networks will remain in place, so that 'extended data' can be collected by the partipating institutions after the formal phases of this Project are complete, in return for the continued use of the equipment. (the financial responsibility for continued connection to commercial networks will shift, however to the participating institutions.)
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