A monitoring tool for low power wireless personal area networks

A free tool in order to monitor and control IEEE 802.15.4 Low Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (LOWPANs), Z-Monitor provides a convenient solution for students and researchers to develop, debug and deploy wireless sensor network applications based on LOWPANs.

The tool is compatible with the open-source official TinyOS implementation of the IEEE 802.15.4 which was released recently by the TinyOS 15.4 WG. Z-Monitor has also been tested and validated with the open-ZB implementation. Presently, Z-Monitor is available only for TelosB motes and will soon be extended to a wider range of COTS platforms.

The motive behind Z-Monitor is the fact that commercial products for monitoring and testing IEEE 802.15.4-compliant LOWPANs are very costly and generally require special sniffing hardware. In addition to that, other generic-purpose sniffers such as WireShark and Ethereal are not designed specially for IEEE 802.15.4-compliant networks. Z-Monitor provides a free solution which depends on making use of simple commercially available motes for sniffing traffic and monitoring IEEE 802.15.4-based LOWPANs. The current version Z-Monitor 1.0 supports TelosB mote as the underlying sniffing hardware.

Z-Monitor will be open for contributions from the scientific community and the instructions regarding the contributions will soon be announced. Z-Monitor will be extended in order to provide more high performance and comprehensive features. Extension to 6LowPAN and ZigBee Network Layers, support for multi-hop topologies and addition of advanced filtering options are some of the features which are to be included on priority basis.

 

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