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Weekly Report

24

Mar

2015

This report will cover the progress to date. I've also attached the proposal I submitted in case anyone is interested in reading that.

In order to make a start there are two areas that need to be considered. The first, and likely most important, is to consider how the provisioning flow is going to work. IEEE 802.15.4 has some build in AES security stuff as well as different channels (much like Wi-Fi has channels). At the link layer there needs to be a way to negotiate some kind of connection which will involve scanning for a channel both nodes can talk on as well as some kind of key exchange to encrypt the communication. Above that, in the networking layer, we probably want some kind of authentication and encryption to ensure that nodes are who they say they are. Finally, the application layer will need to support some kind of key store so users can add the new node before trying to connect it to the network.

The other side that needs to be considered is which platform the project should be built on. The CC2538 hardware has already been decided. Not only does it have IEEE 802.15.4 radios, it is also supported by all the major WS platforms I could find. The other convinient aspect is we already have development boards for it. The software, at this stage, will either by RIOT OS or ContikiOS. The issue with ContikiOS is that I've seen Brad and Isabelle working with it and it seems like there are a number of challenges along the way. RIOT OS is lacking a gateway software which would make it difficult to get any of the application layer stuff working. A gatteway is also useful for sniffing network traffic, but that can be done with any of the nodes and a serial port.

I think I'll start by reading through the IEEE 802.15.4 standard to gain some understanding of how the channels and encryption work. Those are likely to be key to the project. I may as well take the oppourtunity to draw some diagrams at the same time (which will help with report writing!).

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520_proposal.pdf100.09 KB