Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Wireless sensor networks--Industrial applications; Wireless sensor networks--Design and construction;


In manufacturing industries, there exist many applications where Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN's) are integrated to provide wireless solution for the automated manufacturing processes. It is well known that industrial environments characterized by extreme conditions such as high temperature, pressure, and electromagnetic (EM) interference that can affect the performance of the WSN's. The key solution to overcome this performance issue is by monitoring the received Signal Strength Index (RSSI) at the received sensor of the WSN device and track frame error rate of wireless packets.

ZigBee is a wireless sensor network (WSN) standard designed for specific needs of the remote monitoring sensor system. Zigbee networks can be established by three different topologies: start, hybrid, and mesh. In this research project, the interest in analyzing the characteristics of the Zigbee performance was completed using a star topology network. Three performance parameters were obtained: the RSSI signal to monitor the received wireless packets from the sending node, path-lost exponent to determine the effect of industrial environment on wireless signals, and the frame error rate to know the discontinue time. The study was in three phases and took place in two settings: The first was at the manufacturing laboratory at the University of Northern Iowa, the second and the third were at the facility of a Midwestern manufacturing company. The study aimed to provide an analytical tool to evaluate the performances of Zigbee networks in industrial environments and compare the results to show that harsh environments do affect its performance.

The study also involved testing the performance of WSN. This was done by simulating input/output Line passing with digital and analog data. Packets were sent from one node and counted at the receiving side to measure the packet error rate of WSN in industrial environment.

In conclusion, investigating the WSN's systems performance in industrial environment provides is crucial to identify the effects of the harsh conditions. It is necessary to run similar investigation to prevent the malfunction of the manufacturing applications. Testing a simple WSN in industrial environment can be capable of predicting the performance of the network. It is also recommended to have an embedded approach to WSN applications that can self-monitor its performance.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2002 Award


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Recayi Recen, Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Hong Nie, Committee Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 184 pages)



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