Nowadays, careful measurement applications are handed over to wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In most of these tasks, sensor nodes work together to recognize the data fusion process. Synchronization is a critical element in this scenario. Nodes have to be regulated to a common clock and regulated among them. Many synchronization algorithms can be found in literature, and some of them have been intentionally established for low-cost structural designing where efficient memory management and reduced computational burden are important constraints. The performance of these algorithms is usually evaluated either in simulation environments or by adopting ad hoc radio systems. Attention is rarely paid to the influence of factors, such as the following: clock stability, the dependence of the measurement application on the synchronization algorithm and vice versa, the effect of the limited bandwidth available on real radio systems, and the change of performance when common commercial wireless communication busses such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (BT), and ZigBee are adopted. This paper makes the first step toward this direction, proposing the experimental characterization of a small-scale WSN implementing some of these protocols versus common wireless busses such as BT, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee.
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