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Bastian Bloessl and Falko Dressler, "mSync - Frames without Preambles," Proceedings of 21st ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2015), 4th ACM Software Radio Implementation Forum (SRIF 2015), Paris, France, September 2015, pp. 11-11.


These days the Internet of Things is about to come part of our everyday live. Already today we are surrounded by a vast amount of simple low data rate wireless systems. The applications for those systems are manifold and include weather stations, sensors in industrial automation, car key fobs, and alarm systems. Most recently, car and plane manufacturers started replacing wired sensors with wireless systems to save cabling and, thus, weight and fuel. Typically, frame-based single carrier systems are used. These rely on a preamble for synchronizing to the signal followed by a Start of Frame Delimiter (SFD) and the actual data. Due to short frames sizes, the preamble introduces considerable overhead regarding energy consumption and wireless channel occupancy. Using the IEEE 802.15.4 O-QPSK PHY as an example, the minimal preamble length is the equivalent of 4 B com- pared to an ACK size of 5 B or a maximum frame size of 127 B. Another example is a Binary Offset Carrier (BOC) transceiver that we developed in the BATS project [1]. In this project we work towards equipping bats with tiny 2g sensor motes that send 12 B frames, which can be used for combined data transmission and ranging. Since each frame includes a preamble of 2 B the overhead is significant. To avoid this overhead we propose mSync (from mirror sync), a frame format and decoding strategy that does not rely on preamble symbols, as it uses the data symbols instead.

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Bastian Bloessl
Falko Dressler

BibTeX reference

    author = {Bloessl, Bastian and Dressler, Falko},
    title = {{mSync - Frames without Preambles}},
    booktitle = {21st ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2015), 4th ACM Software Radio Implementation Forum (SRIF 2015)},
    pages = {11-11},
    year = {2015},
    month = {September},
    address = {Paris, France},
    publisher = {ACM},
    doi = {10.1145/2801676.2801678},

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