Wireless Faster Data for Science (wFDs)

An Expert Guide supporting scientific use of wireless data backhaul tools and methods to connect to Research and Education networks. Performance Tuning, Tools and Techniques with the goal of reducing making wireless sensors easier to deploy, manage, and operate.

May 31, 2023

The wFDs pages provide proven, operationally sound methods for troubleshooting and solving performance issues. Since 1986 ESnet has operated an advanced research network with the goal of enabling the highest levels of performance for the Department of Energy (DOE) scientific community. During this time, our engineers have identified a common set of issues that hinder performance. We share our experiences and findings in this knowledge base.

This site is part of the network management resources provided by ESnet as part of and other ESnet Science Engagement Team efforts. This site focuses on extending wireless connectivity and data from ESnet (and other REN) optical backbones, to support remote field science and other scientific wireless data use cases.

While specific use cases described here are focused on the DOE National Laboratories, much of the information is broadly applicable to many science-focused deployments.

 What you can do here:

This site is designed to help scientists and network engineers deploy sensors and to connect those sensors back to ESnet (or other REN) via wireless technologies. The content is laid out to support a wireless sensor user from start to finish via the flowchart below, or users may choose to access articles in whatever order needed.

Just starting out? Here an article to help you walk through a "field sensor" design order of operations that has been proven to work

 wFD KB top level.drawio 1


Information Topic Area Description
Connectivity: What options exist for sensor use of wireless supporting science use cases? Lessons learned from field science practitioners, primarily for field scientists, on how to identify, evaluate, obtain, and use sensor wireless connectivity. 
Power: What options to provide power for sensors and other support systems and how to think about this as part of design use cases. Lessons learned from field science practitioners on how to move data wirelessly from deployed sensors, to the optical/fixed network edge.
Deployment: How to identify, select, and deploy the right towers, mast, compute, routers and containers to support your design use cases. Tips and pointers on how to package, protect and design the overall sensor and communications systems for deployment in the environmental conditions and other constraints which may exist.
Networking: How to create the right network architecture to support the specific data and control system needs of your wireless sensor system.  Ultimately, your wireless system must connect to a wired Research and Educational Network (REN) or internet service provider. This section will help you identify ways to do this based on your use case.
How to get help and other useful links  
 There are a lot of great resources on the internet and throughout the wireless data and IoT communities of use to field scientists or others making use of wireless data transfer for science.  Here, we provide links to other resources, ways to get help from the ESnet team, and information if you want to share lessons you may have learned on this website!

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