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                                                                   Networking for Communications Challenged Communities:

                                                                   Architecture, Test Beds and Innovative Alliances

The N4C test beds and real-life tests

The N4C strategy for extending Internet access was to use emerging, novel technologies and create an opportunistic networking architecture to exploit the communication opportunities. Development includes integrating generic applications that can be used for Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) such as basic networking, mail and web access for users

Real life tests in communications challenged settings were important factors in this strategy.

For this purpose, the project developed two test beds. The basic purpose was to test and validate DTN-based networking and the integration of DTN networks with the existing Internet. The idea was furthermore that applications developed in the project should be tested in these test beds.

The Description of work stated four applications a) Tracking of animals (reindeer), b) Gathering of Climate data, c) Hikers’ Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and, d) Provision of basic Internet services (email, web caching) to remote villages and places.

Part of the test activities in N4C has been to interact with future, possible users of a real DTN network. From these contacts, ideas for additional applications were generated and fed back in to real life tests during the three years’ project time.

The two N4C test beds were built in the Kočevje region in Slovenia and, in Swedish Lapland.

The tests have followed a similar procedure for both test beds, with one period of summer test and one period of winter tests each year. The focus in Slovenia was on meteorological and other observations, while the Swedish test bed focused on providing services such as e-mail to private households and small businesses in extremely remote locations. There were also differences in timing, because of each region’s climate, culture and industrial/business activities throughout the seasons. For instance, to follow the yearly cycle of reindeer husbandry, the tests of animal tracking systems were performed in Swedish Lapland during winter. This ensured best conditions and health for the animals.

As side effect of the slight differences in time schedules, it was possible for a small number of team members to participate in both test beds. This ensured development of common best practices.

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Meis:

Deliverable 8.4 provides summary information on the test sites and all test cycles, together with presentation of results and analysis of results obtained.

A more detailed description of the test beds: Deliverable 8.3 Test bed creation: Methodological report

Three years' tests in Sweden adn Slovenia

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During the three years N4C was active, multi disciplinary teams tested increasingly complex but also more stable topologies in real life settings in Slovenia and Sweden. This figure shows the test topology in Swedish Lapland summer 2010, as developed by the team from Luleå University of Technology. See the final report from the N4C real life tests

http://www.n4c.eu/D-8.4.php

and the test bed development report.

http://www.n4c.eu/Download/n4c-ltu-40-D8_3-1_0.pdf

In year three, real life tests were performed also in Spain and Ireland.

These tests focused on achievements in the WiMAX area, and on the combination of WiMAX and DTN. A pilot WiMAX repeater network was deployed in the south of Spain,

in cooperation between the N4C member Albentia Systems and a Spanish provider, to provide broadband access for real users. The deployment has run for over six months

and as N4C ends it continues working. The combination of WiMAX and DTN was tested at the SmartBay test bed in Galway, Ireland with results confirming the relevance of DTN

for challenged scenarios. Also, the ‘Village router’ first tested in the Lapland test bed was trialled in Galway in the winter 2010/2011. It was noted that the combination of cold

and humidity caused other problems than the dry climate in Lapland.

Repeater installation, Spain