This thesis introduces a mesh implementation for purely battery-powered nodes that works on top of the Bluetooth 4.1 specification and proposes the FruityMesh algorithm to solve the complicated task of autonomous meshing and maintenance. Current state-of-the-art scientific, BLE and other mesh networks are presented before discussing possibilities and limitations of Bluetooth Low Energy. A simulation is used to evaluate the algorithm’s behaviour for a large amount of nodes. The final prototype uses the Nordic nRF51 platform in combination with the S130 software-based BLE stack that can concurrently manage a Central and Peripheral role.
Other topics in this thesis include an overview of the currently available implementations for smartphones, available chipsets, and corresponding development environments.
Both the simulation and prototypical implementation have shown that it is currently possible to build a mesh network using standard BLE connections that can work with limited power supplies and a high number of nodes without the need for a central coordinator.
Master thesis of Marius Heil, June 1st 2015
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ansgar Gerlicher, M. Sc. Christian Feser (M-Way Solutions GmbH)