6LoWPAN CyanConnode

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CyanConnode and Intel provide communications infrastructure to enable an open standard-based testbed for Smart City applications in Urban ICT Arena. CyanConnode provides an open standard-based communications solution that enables interested project partners to use an IPv6 mesh network. The initial focus will be on bringing coverage to the main parts of Kista by deploying a few gateway nodes at strategic locations in Kista.

Summary

The network is an IP-based communication platform for the Internet of Things (IOT) whose main purpose is to provide communication to millions of geographically distributed devices, connected over radio mesh networks to form a radio NAN (Neighbor Area Network) in urban and rural environments.

To provide the most cost-effective solution, the majority of those devices should only embark an inexpensive radio transceiver to join a radio mesh network in a license-free sub-GHz frequency spectrum while a minority of those devices should additionally embark the hardware capability to act as a gateway to provide Internet / WAN (Wide Area Network) access for all other devices present in a radio mesh network. This access to the WAN may be provided over an Ethernet link or a Cellular connection.

License-free sub-GHz radio mesh networking, open standards and IPv6 are the main technical characteristics of the CyanConnode Panmesh Solution.

The Panmesh Solution includes embedded software (Panmesh Agent) that is integrated into a device or communication module to enable the device to send traffic securely over the mesh network. The other part is the Panmesh Network Management Server (NMS), which is the management platform for the mesh network providing features such as firmware updates, network configuration, security management etc.

Applications on the mesh network

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The mesh network should be seen as open IPv6 network in which all devices gets a unique IPv6 address. However, if the WAN network used for backhaul from the gateway don’t support IPv6, IPv4 tunnels is provided.

The network provides a bi-directional IP pipe between the device and the internet. It is up to the developer of the application to ensure that enough security is applied to the application traffic, since this is an open IP network. The constraints around bandwidth needs to be taken into consideration when designing this.

The Panmesh Agent sets up management pipe towards the Panmesh NMS, securely over DTLS. The network is also encrypted via AES-128 between each node.

Bandwidth and usage

The Urban ICT 6LoWPAN network is a narrowband 6LoWPAN mesh network with node-to-node sustained UDP throughput up to 500 bytes/s. The bandwidth needs to be taken into consideration when designing the network and a traffic model needs to be presented and accepted by CyanConnode before access is given.

Article written by Petra Dalunde