Performance Evaluation of the VB-TDMA Protocol for Long-term Tracking and Monitoring of Mobile Entities in the Outdoors

Ion Emilian Radoi, Janek Mann, D. K. Arvind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Virtual Beacon-Time Division Multiple Access (VB-TDMA) communication protocol has been proposed in [12] for a growing class of applications which require GPS tracking of autonomous mobile entities in the outdoors, and the long-term continuous monitoring of their contextual information using wireless sensors. Examples include monitoring animal behaviour in their natural habitat over the annual cycle, tracking shipping containers during their life-cycle of transit, loading/unloading and storage, and the handling of high-value packages during transportation. This paper employs simulations to evaluate the network performance of the VB-TDMA communication protocol in a representative scenario involving wild horses attached with collars, each containing a custom-designed platform with a three-axis accelerometer, a GPS module and ancillary electronics and battery, which uploads wirelessly to static base-stations, its position (sensed thrice an hour) and a summary of its activities between uploads. The simulations benefited from movement models derived from real data obtained from a long-term deployment of the collars on wild horses in the Donana National Park in south-west Spain. Comparisons with other MAC protocols have demonstrated the superior performance of the VB-TDMA protocol over a range of metrics for the representative example. An enhanced version of the VB-TDMA protocol - a multi-hop variant - is introduced for low latency requirements and was simulated for an urban scenario of bicycles fitted with sensors for crowd-sourcing spatio-temporal air quality information along the route of travel which is uploaded to the server when within range of static base-stations, for cases where low latency data upload is a requirement to enable access to the latest air quality information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th ACM Symposium on QoS and Security for Wireless and Mobile Networks
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-3757-1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • gps, network performance, simulation, tdma, vb-tdma, virtual beacon, wildlife tracking and monitoring, wireless sensor networks


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