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Bastian Bloessl, "A Physical Layer Experimentation Framework for Automotive WLAN," PhD Thesis, Department of Computer Science, Paderborn University (UPB), June 2018. (Advisor: Falko Dressler; Referees: Falko Dressler, Matthias Hollick and Renato Lo Cigno)


Future cars will be equipped with communication modules that allow them to exchange information directly with each other and potentially infrastructure nodes, forming a Vehicular Ad Hoc Network (VANET). Through communication, cars will be able to coordinate and drive cooperatively, which will make transportation safer, more efficient, and more comfortable than ever before. One of the considered technologies for vehicular networks is IEEE 802.11p, a slightly modified version of consumer Wireless LAN (WLAN) that was adapted to better fit the characteristics of vehicular environments. While the decision to rely on readily available technology might ease market introduction, it also raises the question whether a physical layer that was designed for relatively static indoor environments can provide reasonable performance in highly dynamic VANETs. Using Software Defined Radios (SDRs), i.e., fully programmable radios, we are able to address this question, as they allow us to closely examine and modify the physical waveform. We made SDR accessible for research on VANETs by imple- menting the first IEEE 802.11p transceiver for GNU Radio, a popular real-time signal processing framework for use in SDRs. Performing all signal processing on a PC, our transceiver is well-suited for rapid prototyping and can be used for simulations as well as real-world experiments, offering a seamless switch from theory to practice. In the first part of the thesis, we detail the design of our IEEE 802.11p transceiver, study its computational complexity, and present results from thorough validations through simulations and interoperability tests. We furthermore show that it is possible to support time-critical functionalities like channel access and automatic gain control without giving up the advantages of a PC implementation. In the second part, we use our transceiver to address selected research questions in VANETs. Here, we conduct field tests to compare the performance of different devices and algorithms in realistic environments and study the impact of noise and intra-technology interference on IEEE 802.11p. Finally, we show a use-case for our transceiver that goes beyond signal processing: With full access to all information down to the physical layer, we develop a novel, robust attack on the location privacy of vehicles and study its impact through network simulations.

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Bastian Bloessl

BibTeX reference

    author = {Bloessl, Bastian},
    doi = {10.17619/UNIPB/1-347},
    title = {{A Physical Layer Experimentation Framework for Automotive WLAN}},
    advisor = {Dressler, Falko},
    institution = {Department of Computer Science},
    location = {Paderborn, Germany},
    month = {6},
    referee = {Dressler, Falko and Hollick, Matthias and Lo Cigno, Renato},
    school = {Paderborn University (UPB)},
    type = {PhD Thesis},
    year = {2018},

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