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In environmental monitoring, wirelessly connected sensors form local networks and collect data, which are sent to a central repository for further analysis and permanent storage. This paper empirically evaluates the use of fixed WiMAX to backhaul data from an environmental monitoring application. It was found that aggregating sensor readings is crucial for taking full advantage of the WiMAX backhaul. Application-layer aggregation is considered for scenarios where sensor communication is programmable or at least configurable. For scenarios where sensors cannot be modified, network-layer aggregation is considered using a performance enhancing proxy. Finally, a case is considered where application- and network-layer aggregation is combined. The results show that without aggregation, goodput is only a small fraction of the maximum achieved in the testbed.
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