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Integration of IEEE 802.1AS-based Time Synchronization in IEEE 802.11 as an Enabler for Novel Industrial Use Cases

Michael Gundall; Christopher Huber; Sergiy Melnyk
In: 2020 1st Workshop on Next Generation Networks and Applications (NGNA). Workshop on Next Generation Networks and Applications (NGNA-2020), December 14-18, Kaiserslautern, Germany, ArXive, 12/2020.


Industry 4.0 introduces new use cases, with more and more mobile devices appearing in the industrial landscape. These applications require both new technologies and smooth integration into existing brownfield deployments. Emerging mobile use cases can be divided into optional mobile and mandatory mobile, where the first point considers the use of wireless communications due to soft criteria such as cost savings and the second means use cases that cannot be covered by wireline technologies due to their movement, such as AGVs. For most industrial applications, high determinism, E2E latency and synchronicity are most important. Therefore, we provide a common table, based on these requirements, listing both existing and emerging mobile use cases. Since time synchronization is particularly demanding for wireless use cases, we propose a concept for a simple but precise synchronization in IEEE 802.11 WLAN and a suitable integration using TSN in combination with OPC UA technology as examples. Furthermore, the concept is evaluated with the help of a testbed utilizing state-of-the-art hardware. This means that this concept can be directly applied in existing industry solutions. It can be shown that the concept is already suitable for a wide range of the mandatory mobile applications.