A Mobile WiFi Repeater

With all the wireless systems in use today, getting a strong connection to a network has become a ... Others pace about with their laptops, hoping to find a place.
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Mobile Repeater Murium Iqbal Kevin Ngan Grover Viernes Sunil Khanolkar Dan Mendat Yuriy Shames

Rutgers, School of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 332:428 – Capstone Design: Communications System, Wireless Communications Senior Design Project Report Advisor: Professor Christopher Rose

Introduction With all the wireless systems in use today, getting a strong connection to a network has become a prevalent issue. Many times, frustrated users sit at their desktops, unable to get a wireless connection. Others pace about with their laptops, hoping to find a place where the signal is strong enough to allow them to gain access to the internet. There are systems in place already that try to alleviate these problems. Some signals are propagated through wireless repeaters. If a user’s laptop is too far away from its access point, a wireless repeater can be placed in between the computer and the router. The repeater will receive the signal from the router and retransmit it at a higher power. This will extend the range of the wireless network, giving the laptop access. These repeaters can be bought fairly cheaply at $40- $80 dollars, yet, they do have their drawbacks. Repeaters are stationary hardware; they are put in one place and left there to perform their duty. The environment they are in, though, is not stationary. Say a person has placed a wireless repeater outside their house. Now, perhaps, someone decides to build a huge wall blocking the side of the house with the repeater. The repeater has now become useless; it cannot receive the signal that it is supposed to repeat. The user must now take down the repeater and find a better place to put it. Directional antennae are also a common attempt to forge solid networks. They have high gain and can transmit signal to a receiver by pointing to it. Yet these have similar issues to the wireless repeater; they are not adaptable to changing environments. For a directional antenna to be useful, the antenna has to know the placement of the receiver it is trying to transmit to. If the receiver moves, the antenna is no longer useful. Also, since most of the power of transmission is in one direction, if a similar wall was built in front of a directional antenna, it would not be able to perform its functions adequately. Another possible solution to get the signal to receiver would be to just put more power into the signal at the transmitter, but the FCC regulates the power at which a signal can be transmitted at. Also, the higher the power in the signal being transmitted, the more power and battery life is used at the transmitter. If a laptop is communicating with a router which is transmitting at a higher power to send it a signal, when it tries to communicate back it will use up its battery life much faster since it would need to transmit using the same power. This would be very inefficient and inconvenient for the user. This project proposes a solution that overcomes the limitations of the other systems. If the problem with a repeater and directional antenna is that they are not adaptable to their changing environments and are constantly needed to be repositioned to continue functioning, perhaps they should simply be made mobile. This would allow them to move around obstacles that are placed in their paths. A mobile platform could carry both a directional antenna and a repeater, allowing them to maneuver through their environments to relay a signal from a router to a laptop and back. The directional antenna could home in on the signal from the router while the repeater could repeat the signal back to the laptop. This would allow the laptop user to remain stationary and transmit at the same power as it would normally communicate at. Thus, the end result of the project is to have a robot that can automatically find and transmit a signal between a router and a laptop. To implement this system, three major components are needed. The propagation of the wireless network must be performed by a

directional antenna and a wireless r