Welcome to the CSIR Meraka Institute's "COIN" Blog

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

What we've got to do to make this happen

Task 1: Build a web site to share information on mesh networking and community owned networks

Outcome: Quick information dissemination amongst interested parties in the FMFI project, CSIR staff and other external interested parties.

Task 2: Build a simulation of a mesh network to test out various routing protocols and congestion control meshanisms

Outcome: A document showing theoretical estimates of how a mesh network will perform under changing load conditions

Task 3: Build home made WiFi antennas - omni-directional and directional and check their performance using tools from Poynting

Outcome: Omni-directional antenna and directional antenna with enough gain for a city wide mesh network

Task 4: Carry out a literature survey on existing mesh networking protocols that can be used in a Linux, FreeBSD environment and Windows environment.

Outcome: A document outlining all the information on protocols and recipes for setting up mesh nodes on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows (not that Windows would be my OS of choice).

Task 5: Test existing mesh protocols such as Locust mesh between 5 or more PC’s running on Linux, FreeBSD and possibly Windows in an office environment.

Outcome: A working indoor mesh network

Task 6: Create a Pretoria mesh network as a testbed for networking in other community networks. This testbed will be used to carry out experiments in the mesh and test the reliability of various protocols.

Outcome: A working city wide mesh network

Task 7: Use a web based GIS system for CSIR staff to become part of the Pretoria mesh and to pinpoint the position of their house and have a link prediction carried out to check line of sight to the next available node.

Outcome: An easy way for staff to check if they can become part of the community mesh

Task 8: Research the cheapest method of creating a WiFi access point and build a low cost WiFi AP.

Outcome: A document outlining all the components required to build a low cost WiFi and a working low cost WiFi AP

Task 9: Research low cost PC’s for poor communities and build a prototype based on research.

Outcome: A working low cost PC prototype. A document outlining all the components required to build a low cost PC.

Task 10: Test various existing mesh routing protocols and establish their strengths and weaknesses.

Outcome: Access points or PC’s with a menu which allows a user to select between different mesh protocols. A document describing all the meshing protocols available.

Task 11: Test out various application on the mesh – check their performance versus the number of hops between two hosts. Test performance versus the number of simultaneous running applications e.g. After how many simultaneous VoIP calls does it become unusable.
Peer to peer applications such as Skype
Video streaming with different levels of compression
Standard internet applications such as web browsing and email through the CSIR gateway

Outcome: Document describing the performance of various applications running over the mesh network

Task 12: Connect the mesh network to the Tshwane backbone.

Outcome: test the feasibility of Tshwane building out community mesh networks from their fibre backbone.

Task 13: Create computer based training material which will explain how to set up a mesh network in a community – everything from involving the community, installing an antenna to setting up their operating system.

Outcome: A CD/website with a user manual describing how to build community mesh networks and access points.

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