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Title: Wireless communication in process monitoring and control
Author: Ikram, Waqas
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Recent development in wireless communication technology offer new opportunities for wireless connectivity of field devices in industries such as oil and gas, chemical processing and water distribution. Wireless communications can assist these industries to improve plant knowledge by acquiring additional measurements from processes and equipment when wired communication would be infeasible. Requirements for a field communication network in the process industry include real-time support for mixed traffic, robustness, availability, security, reliability and scalability in a harsh industrial environment. Furthermore, to build such a network on license-exempt band raises concerns relating to its safety, security, performance and governance. Three specific issues have been addressed in this thesis. The first issue investigated is time synchronization which is necessary to ensure data integrity and determinism in network operations. The second investigation is the study of the performance of a closed-loop control application running over a resource-constrained wireless network. The need to ensure co-existence with the other wireless networks operating over the same radio band while offering predictability and reliability has added a new concern to the use of wireless technology in networked control systems. The third issue is to ensure longevity of wireless field nodes operated on standalone batteries which requires a mechanism to minimize energy consumption. This topic was addressed in an investigation into methods for transmission power control. The research presented in this thesis has discovered new ways to solve these problems. It has characterized their performance and implemented them in several practical demonstrations, including one field deployment. The thesis also provides an insight into the opportunities which wireless technology offers, the challenges which it encompasses, and gives a review of key emerging wireless networking technologies relevant to process automation. Finally, it offers an opinion about the future directions of wireless communications in the process industries.
Supervisor: Thornhill, Nina Sponsor: Imperial College London ; Royal Academy of Engineering ; ABB group
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available