Delay/Disruption Tolerant Network-Based Message Forwarding for a River Pollution Monitoring Wireless Sensor Network Application

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Mar 25;16(4):436. doi: 10.3390/s16040436.


Communications from remote areas that may be of interest is still a problem. Many innovative projects applied to remote sites face communications difficulties. The GOLDFISH project was an EU-funded project for river pollution monitoring in developing countries. It had several sensor clusters, with floating WiFi antennas, deployed along a downstream river's course. Sensor clusters sent messages to a Gateway installed on the riverbank. This gateway sent the messages, through a backhaul technology, to an Internet server where data was aggregated over a map. The communication challenge in this scenario was produced by the antennas' movement and network backhaul availability. Since the antennas were floating on the river, communications could be disrupted at any time. Also, 2G/3G availability near the river was not constant. For non-real-time applications, we propose a Delay/Disruption Tolerant Network (DTN)-based solution where all nodes have persistent storage capabilities and DTN protocols to be able to wait minutes or hours to transmit. A mechanical backhaul will periodically visit the river bank where the gateway is installed and it will automatically collect sensor data to be carried to an Internet-covered spot. The proposed forwarding protocol delivers around 98% of the messages for this scenario, performing better than other well-known DTN routing protocols.

Keywords: WSN; delay-tolerant; delivery probability; disruption-tolerant; opportunistic forwarding; pollution monitoring; rural telecommunications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't