conTest – A wireless testbed

Hi,my name is Stefan and I am a second time GSoC student. I participated in 2017 for Freifunk and
helped to improve the power quality monitoring tool PowQuty. I am currently doing my master in
“Information and communication technologies” This time I want provide a testing framework for wireless
resource allocation algorithms like Minstrel and Minstrel-Blues. It’s called conTest.

The Idea

ConTest aims to provide a reliable environment to create and evaluate repeatable test with wireless
equipment. It integrates the control software fur digital attenuators from Vaunix. To compare changes in
algorithm it is important to recreate the same test environment for the second experiment you run the
first experiment in. Only if both experiments are run under similar conditions, results are reliable.
ConTest will allow the automated collection auf files like rc_stats and ani log files.

The Setup

Therefore I will setup an example testbed composed of two APU boards equipped with ath9k a/n cards and
running OpenWrt. The SMA connectors of the routers are connected with an attenuator over coaxial cables.
The attenuators are currently controlled by a raspberry pi. In addition the Pi also collects and stores
all the files.
The use of one bus on the pi for Ethernet and USB could prove as bottleneck, when data is written to an
USB device and frequent changes have to be send to the attenuators. One of the APU boards will act as an
access point and provide a WLAN the other access point connects to as a client.

For traffic generation I want to use iperf3 and monitor the resulting traffic on both routers on a monitor
interface with tcpdump. Some files (like rc_stats for Minstrel) provide relevant information about the
algorithm. I want to collect the relevant files, but keep the decision which files to collect and the
frequency of the collection in the hand of the user.Therefore conTest should be configured from a config
file. A schematic of the testbed can be seen below.

The Results

To make the software as usable as possible I will provide an OpenWrt package for the Vaunix controll
software and the test framework. To ease the testing of changes or new algorithms, conTest will
feature options for automated data preprocessing and representation of the collected data.

If you have additional ideas, would should definetly be in conTest or more questions feel free to
comment or contact me.

Best regards

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