Telecommunications (2015-2016)

Course last given in 2015-2016. Here as archive. Content may become outdated.

Laurent Segers -

Required software

During the lab we will use the Zolertia Z1 platform for the study of wireless sensornetworks. One can download the appropriate virtual machine for fast developping from the Contiki website (Instant Contiki). This virtual machine (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, username: user, password: user) is already set up with the MSP430-GCC compiler (version 4.7.0). This virtual machine runs with VMWare Player. It is also possible - only for Linux experts - to download only the necessary installation script (link) for the MSP430-GCC compiler. Follow the instructions within the shell script.


introduction document
Introduction slides

Lab 1

During the first lab, we will discover the Contiki operating system alongside with the Zolertia Z1 platform. Download the latest version of Contiki and extract it to a workfolder. One can find examples of applications in the example folder. During the labs, we will use the examples provided in the subfolder "IPv6". in order to understand how Contiki works, we will start from the examples provided in the introduction document. More information can be found on the Zolertia Wiki.

Lab 2

In the first lab we discovered the Zolertia Z1 motes. The next step is to enable communication between the nodes and a remote server. The first substep is to tackle the outgoing communication and incoming communication on the node itself. The communication stack we will use is IPv6 (6LoWPAN) based and uses the UDP protocol. The architecture of the network will also be presented. In the last step, a complete network will be build and a remote UDP server application will take care of the packtet exchanges. All the necessary steps are explained in the introduction document provided on the link above.

Lab 3

During the last lab we will continue investigating the packets sent in the network. We will also demonstrate the graph (topology) that is build up during the configuration of the wireless sensornetwork.


  • Pinpoint the differences and similitudes in the IPv6 packet format in both the normal IPv6 and 6LoWPAN packets.
  • Do this by using the MAC-sniffer (6LoWPAN).
  • Modify the tunslip6 application (see above) in order to read the IPv6-packets
  • Look at following parts of the header: the usefull payload (message), IP-header, Transport-header, port-numbers. How many bytes shorter/larger, where does the compression apply?
  • Apply the study on the examples/applications you wrote during the classes.
  • Write a small report (max. 5 pages).