NITOS      

NITOS facility is comprised of 2 wireless testbeds for experimentation with heterogeneous technologies. An outdoor testbed, featuring Wi-Fi, WiMAX and     LTE support and an indoor isolated testbed comprised of advanced powerful nodes. The NITOS testbed is designed to achieve reproducibility of experimentation, while also supporting evaluation of protocols and applications in real world settings.

The control and management of the testbed is done using the cOntrol and Management Framework (OMF) open-source software. Users can perform their experiments by reserving slices (nodes, frequency spectrum) of the testbed through NITOS scheduler that together with OMF management framework, support ease of use for experimentation and code development.

The NITOS platform is open to any researchers who would like to test their protocols in a real-life wireless network. They are given the opportunity to implement their protocols and study their behavior in a custom tailor-made environment. NITLab is constantly in the process of extending its Testbed capabilities.

Architecture

The main experimental components of NITOS are:

  • A wireless experimentation testbed, which consists of powerful nodes (some of them mobile), that feature multiple wireless interfaces and allow for experimentation with heterogeneous (WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee) wireless technologies. NITOS has been extended to a meso-scale testbed, by acquiring WiMAX and LTE Base Stations and by also enabling WiMAX/LTE connectivity to the wireless nodes.
  • A software defined radio (SDR) testbed that consists of Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) devices attached to the NITOS wireless nodes. USRPs allow the researcher to program a number of physical layer features (e.g. modulation), thereby enabling dedicated PHY layer or cross-layer research.
  • A Software Defined Networking (SDN) testbed that consists of multiple OpenFlow technology enabled switches, connected to the NITOS nodes, thus enabling experimentation with switching and routing networking protocols. Experimentation using the OpenFlow technology can be combined with the wireless networking one, hence enabling the construction of more heterogeneous experimental scenarios.
  • A testbed for conducting video-transmission (wired or wireless) related experimentation, which consists of high definition digital cameras, mounted on the NITOS nodes. This component can be combined with the wired (OpenFlow) and wireless testbeds mentioned above, enabling the study of video transmission over heterogeneous communication technologies.

A brief description of each testbed follows, as well as detailed descriptions of several key components they use.

NITOS outdoor testbed

NITOS outdoor testbed consists of powerful nodes that feature multiple wireless interfaces and allow for experimentation with heterogeneous (Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE) wireless technologies. It is deployed at the exterior of the University of Thessaly (UTH) campus building, as illustrated in Figure 1

 

Figure 1: Outdoor Testbed Topology

Figure 1: Outdoor Testbed Topology

NITOS indoor testbed

The relatively new NITOS indoor testbed consists of 40 Icarus nodes and is deployed in an RF isolated environment in the premises of University of Thessaly’s campus. This testbed is federated with the outdoor one, thus enabling the execution and evaluation of power demanding processing algorithms and protocols in a large scale testbed.

Figure 2: Outdoor Testbed Deployment

Figure 2: Outdoor Testbed Deployment

Figure 3: Indoor Testbed Deployment

Figure 3: Indoor Testbed Deployment

Icarus NodesNITOS4

Icarus Nodes have been developed by UTH and are equipped with 802.11a/b/g/n wireless interfaces. They feature new generation Intel 4-core CPUs and new generation solid state drives. More details about their specifications can be found in Table 1.

Table 1: Icarus nodes specifications

Motherboard Features 2 Gigabit network interfaces and supports 2 wireless interfaces
CPU Intel Core i7-2600 Processor, 8M Cache at 3.40Ghz
RAM 4G HYPERX BLU DDR3
Wireless interfaces Atheros 802/11 a/b/g & Atheros 802.11 a/b/g/n (MIMO)
Chassis Manager Card UTH’s CM card
Storage Solid state drive
Power supply 350 Watt mini-ATX
Antennas Multi-band 5dbi, operates both on 2,4Ghz & 5Ghz
Pigtails High quality pigtails (UFL to RP-SMA)

SDN Capabilities

NITOS testbeds, both the outdoor and the indoor, operate OpenFlow switches that are connected to the nodes of the testbeds. The user of the NITOS facility is able to reserve nodes for his slice (through the NITOS scheduler) and run an OpenFlow experiment with use of this slice. In particular, the testbed provides transparently an abstract OpenFlow switch for his slice that conceptually is equivalent to a physical OpenFlow switch that includes only the ports of the nodes that he has reserved.

 Software Defined RadiosNITOS5

NITOS have enhanced a subpart of the NITOS outdoor testbed by adding software defined radio (SDR) capable devices. The platform currently used is based on 10 Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) devices attached either on the NITOS node’s USB or Ethernet interfaces (NITOS has equipped the SDR testbed with 6 USRP1 and 4 USRP N210 devices, placed in such way to cover as much area as possible of the wireless testbed.). USRPs allow the researcher to program a number of physical layer features (e.g. modulation), thereby enabling dedicated PHY layer or cross-layer research.

 

The overall architecture of the NITOS facility is demonstrated in the following figure

NITOS7

Experimentation

NITOS testbed is open to the research community 24/7 and it is remotely accessible through the NITOS reservation tool. Parallel experimentation of different users is enabled, through the utilization of the NITOS scheduler software. The testbed is based on open-source software that allows the design and implementation of new algorithms, enabling new functionalities on the existing hardware. Though OMF (cOntrol and Management Framework), NITOS supports evaluation of protocols and applications under real world settings. It is also designed to achieve reproducibility of experimentation though the CONCRETE (CONtrol and Classify REpeatable Testbed Experiments) tool developed in UTH.

Experiment examples

A vast amount of experiments can be performed including but not limited in the following areas:

  • QoS mechanisms
  • User Association mechanisms
  • Dynamic frequency selection
  • Rate adaptation mechanisms
  • Video over wireless
  • Routing
  • Network coding
  • Cooperative networks
  • Video over wireless
  • Sensor Networks
  • Power Metering / Green tech

Contact

Filikis Etairias 78
Volos     38334    Greece
Email:    nitlab@inf.uth.gr
Phone:    +30 2421 306070
Fax:        +30 2421 306065

More details can be found:

http://nitlab.inf.uth.gr/NITlab

 

 

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