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FLOPSYNC-QACS: Quantization-Aware Clock Synchronization for Wireless Sensor Networks



Federico Terraneo , Alessandro Papadopoulos, Alberto Leva , Maria Prandini

Publication Type:

Journal article


Journal of Systems Architecture




Distributed real-time systems often rely on clock synchronization. However, the achievement of precise synchronization in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is hampered by competing design challenges, which finally causes many WSN hardware platforms to rely on low frequency clock crystal for local timebase provision. Although this solution is inexpensive and with a remarkably low energy consumption, it limits the resolution at which time can be measured. The FLOPSYNC synchronization scheme was then introduced to compensate for possible quartz crystal imperfections. The main limitation of FLOPSYNC is that it does not account for the effects of quantization. In this paper we propose a switched control variant of the base FLOPSYNC scheme to address quantization explicitly in the compensator design, providing clock synchronization in cost-sensitive WSN node platforms with a minimal additional overhead. Experimental evidence is given that the approach reaches a synchronization error of at most 1 clock tick in a real WSN.


author = {Federico Terraneo and Alessandro Papadopoulos and Alberto Leva and Maria Prandini},
title = {FLOPSYNC-QACS: Quantization-Aware Clock Synchronization for Wireless Sensor Networks},
volume = {114},
number = {101914},
pages = {77--84},
month = {September},
year = {2017},
journal = {Journal of Systems Architecture},
url = {}