Networking

Accurate Clock Synchronization for IEEE 802.11-Based Multi-Hop Wireless Networks

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Executive Summary

Clock synchronization is an essential building block for many control mechanisms used in wireless networks, including frequency hopping, power management, and packet scheduling. Although the IEEE 802.11 standard provides a clock synchronization mechanism for multi-hop wireless networks, it has well-documented accuracy problems, because the beacon frames transmitted by nodes with faster clock are not prioritized at the MAC layer. This paper describes the design and implementation of the first known software-only solution that successfully eliminates the deficiency of IEEE 802.11's clock synchronization mechanism when operating on multihop wireless networks without requiring any hardware/protocol modifications.

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