Wireless Communication and Information Processing Research Laboratory (WiCIP) was established in 2004 to conduct research in wireless communication systems and networks at the University of Windsor. Dr. Kemal Tepe, director of the lab, has worked in telecommunication industry as a research engineer and as a postdoctoral fellow in WINLAB at Rutgers University before joining to the University of Windsor. He has been involved in research and development of wireless systems since 1995. WiCIP was founded to carry out research in the area of vehicular communication systems, Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) systems, mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) and wireless sensor networks (WSNs). WiCIP has focused on physical layer (PHY) problems related to DSRC and identified problems that could significantly diminish DSRC PHY’s performance and proposed channel estimation techniques that improve bit error rate (BER) and packet error rate (PER) in a highly dynamic and challenging vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) channels. Medium Access Control (MAC) and routing protocols are as challenging as PHY with dynamic topology changes. Recognizing these challenges, WiCIP proposed number of protocols that significantly reduce packet collision probabilities to improve safety and emergency message reliability. WiCIP is one of the first research labs who identified mobile hidden station problem (MHS). It was shown that IEEE802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF) based MAC does not operate and scale well in mobile networks. In order to mitigate MHS problem in MANETs, WiCIP has proposed a novel MAC protocol called Extended Sliding Frame Reservation ALOHA (ESFRA) and implemented and evaluated it in OMNET++ simulation environment. We discovered that MHS could potentially be detrimental in safety and emergency messaging MAC in DSRC and proposed Passive Cooperative Collision Warning (PCCW) MAC protocols . PCCW based MAC significantly improved the reliability by reducing collisions, and shown to be the best among its competitors using probabilistic analysis and simulations. Realizing the difficulties in simulating network protocols that are bounded by PHY challenges like vehicular and mobile networks, we have developed an object oriented simulation framework to improve the development time, run time, and reusability of the simulation platform. Further we integrated PHY simulations with MAC and mobility scenarios with the MATLAB based simulation environment developed in house to verify performance of protocols specific to DSRC PHY, MAC and Mobility. Providing Internet access to vehicular environment will significantly enhance safety and emergency messaging applications of DSRC, that is why we proposed WiMAX and DSRC integration framework as a feasible solution to improve vehicles’ global network access.
WiCIP has been actively engaged in designing test-beds in order to verify and validate wireless communication systems. For example, a Zigbee performance test-bed has been designed to measure the network and communication performance of Zigbee in various scenarios, including in-vehicle communication, where packet errors as well as bit errors are accurately detected to enhance PHY modeling and network simulations. A test-bed is designed to provide monitoring faults in power lines with mesh networking based on AODV routing protocol using off-the-shelf components. These developments led us acquire industrial project in smart grid.
Our research contributions in recent years move into mobile device application development and we have designed and developed an application, “SmartAuto” (available at Android marketplace) application to remove range anxiety by allowing users to schedule their route based on location of charging stations and available state of charge. This application received design and implementation award from Durham Strategic Energy Alliance in 2011. This application can potentially enable electrical vehicles to be integrated in to the smart grid.