Real-Time Testbed for Diversity in Powerline and Wireless Smart Grid Communications
Two-way communication is a key feature in a smart grid. It is enabled by either powerline communication or wireless communication technologies. Utilizing both technologies can potentially enhance communication reliability, and many diversity combining schemes have been proposed. In this paper, we propose a flexible real-time testbed to evaluate diversity combining schemes over physical channels. The testbed provides essential parts of physical layers on which both powerline and wireless communications operate. The contributions of this paper are 1) implementation of a real-time testbed for diversity of simultaneous powerline and wireless communications, and 2) performance evaluation of maximal ratio combining (MRC) on the testbed. Bit error rate curves obtained from simulations and measurements over physical channels show that performance of MRC in practice is comparable with simulation in various test cases.