(19)
(11)EP 2 074 844 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.01.2019 Bulletin 2019/04

(21)Application number: 07837770.2

(22)Date of filing:  06.09.2007
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 84/18(2009.01)
H04W 12/04(2009.01)
H04W 84/22(2009.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2007/019397
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/042074 (10.04.2008 Gazette  2008/15)

(54)

WIRELESS HANDHELD CONFIGURATION DEVICE FOR A SECURABLE WIRELESS SELF-ORGANIZING MESH NETWORK

DRAHTLOSES KONFIGURATIONS-HANDGERÄT FÜR EIN ABSICHERBARES DRAHTLOSES SELBSTORGANISIERENDES MESH-NETZWERK

DISPOSITIF PORTATIF DE CONFIGURATION SANS FIL POUR RÉSEAU MAILLÉ AUTO-ORGANISATEUR SÉCURISABLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MT NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 29.09.2006 US 848607 P
13.06.2007 US 818128

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.07.2009 Bulletin 2009/27

(73)Proprietor: Rosemount, Inc.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3695 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • SCHNAARE, Theodore, Henry
    Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3695 (US)

(74)Representative: Schmitt-Nilson Schraud Waibel Wohlfrom Patentanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 
Destouchesstraße 68
80796 München
80796 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2004 125 753
US-A1- 2005 152 305
US-A1- 2005 152 305
US-A1- 2005 201 340
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates generally to self-organizing mesh networks. In particular, the invention relates to a wireless handheld configuration device and an operating mode that allows the handheld device to communicate with a selected device of a self-organizing mesh network.

    [0002] A self-organizing mesh network is a communications network made up of individual devices that are configured to use other networked devices to reliably pass data from one point to another. Ideally, each device has many paths available for passing data to its intended destination. When a new device joins the network, a network manager provides the new device with a schedule which the new device will use to talk to other devices in the network. Each device in the network is provided with "slots" (specific times and radio frequencies) for passing data to or from one or more "children" and one or more "parents". Using different times and frequencies allow many devices to pass messages in the same space without collisions. Frequency hopping also helps to secure the data that is being passed in the network. Secured self-organizing networks frequently employ authentication and encryption to further protect the network. While these attributes result in a very secure and reliable network, they also make it difficult and inefficient to use a wireless hand held configuration device in the network, because it may take several minutes for the device to be recognized in the network and to establish necessary communication links to the wireless devices to be configured. The presence of such a "transient" participant in the network can also disturb the network, making it less efficient and more power hungry as the device joins, moves around in and un-joins the network.

    [0003] Secure self-organizing mesh networks of the type in question use a process known as "joining" to incorporate new devices into the secured network. During the joining process, a number of information exchanges and configurations take place.

    [0004] The new device uses a network pre-determined channel to discover similar devices within radio range. These are the existing network nodes the new device has available to it in order to gain membership into the network. The presence of each device within earshot is recorded. Later in the joining process, the new device will provide its "neighbor" list to the network manager so that the network manager can determine the links that must be established to allow the new device to participate in the network. The network manager also needs to be aware of "excess" neighbors not needed for the new device to communicate on the network. The network manager must ensure that the newly established links do not interfere with the pre-existing links of these neighbor devices.

    [0005] The new device uses its pre-configured security information to decode a joining message from the manager and sends back the expected security response along with other information necessary for the manager to establish links from the new device to other devices in the network.

    [0006] The new device and the new parents and children receive and implement configuration information from the network manager to establish the required links. The new device is then fully joined and participating in the network.

    [0007] In most networks, the joining process described above happens only when new devices join the network. The process may take some time (15 to 20 minutes depending on the network) but since it happens very infrequently, the impact is minor. A wireless handheld device used to interrogate and configure devices in the network may, however, join many times as it is moved around to configure different devices. It is not practical for this type of device to join the network as if it were a standard fixed position device. Not only would this be extremely inconvenient for the user to wait many minutes for the handheld device to join the network, but the frequent joining and un-joining will impact network performance. There is a need for a different method for allowing special devices (such as a wireless handheld configuration device) that are not fixed in the network to join and leave a self-organizing mesh network.

    [0008] US 2005/0152305 A1 discloses a wireless computer network that includes a backbone network including backbone network nodes authenticated to each other and in communication with each other. The wireless computer network also includes a master authenticator node and a proxy authenticator node among the backbone network nodes.

    [0009] US 2004/0125753 A1 discloses a hierarchical communication system, arranged in a spanning tree configuration, in which wired and wireless communication networks exhibiting substantially different characteristics are employed in an overall scheme to link portable or mobile computing devices.

    BRIEF SUMMARY



    [0010] In accordance with the invention, a wireless self-organizing network according to claim 1 and a method of providing communication between fixed network nodes of a wireless mesh network and a non-fixed transient node according to claim 8 are disclosed.

    [0011] The embodiments and/or examples of the following description which are not covered by the appended claims are considered as not being part of the present invention.

    [0012] A self-organizing mesh network is provided with a secondary operating mode that accommodates handheld and other non-fixed transient network nodes.. Each of the network devices maintains a configuration link to detect presence of a handheld device. The handheld device uses the configuration link to build a "neighbor" list of nearby network devices.

    [0013] The user of the handheld device can select one of the network devices, and establish a point-to-point subnetwork over which the handheld device and the selected network device can communicate. Once the point-to-point network is established, the handheld device and the network device can pass data securely, for example by using a pre-configured join key to encrypt data, or through an automatic exchange of a temporary configuration encryption key.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0014] 

    FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a self-organizing mesh network.

    FIG. 2 shows a handheld device utilizing a secondary operating mode of the mesh network to establish contact with one of the network devices.

    FIG. 3 shows the handheld device communicating with one of the network devices over a point-to-point subnetwork.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0015] FIGS. 1-3 show self-organizing mesh network 10, which includes network manager 12 and individual devices or nodes 14A-14I. Self-organizing mesh network 10 is a wireless communications network in which individual devices 14A-14I pass data through multiple paths.

    [0016] Network manager 12 may comprise, for example, a software application running on a network gateway or on a host computer. Network manager 12 can communicate directly with some of the devices (in this case devices 14A, 14B, 14C, and 14F) and can communicate indirectly with the remaining devices.

    [0017] When each of the devices 14A-14I joined network 10, network manager 12 provided that device with a schedule to use in talking to other devices within network 10. Each device is provided with slots representing specific times and radio frequencies which they use to pass data to and from nearby devices that are either children or parents to that device.

    [0018] In one embodiment, devices 14A-14I are field devices in a distributed industrial process system. The field devices may be transmitters having a sensor (or sensors) to monitor a process parameter such as pressure, temperature, flow rate, or fluid level. Alternatively, the field device may include an actuator for providing the control function in response to a signal received over network 10.

    [0019] FIGS. 1-3 also show handheld wireless communicator or configuration device 16, which may be used by an engineer or technician to interrogate and configure individual devices 14A-14I in network 10. Handheld configuration device 16 is capable of wireless communication with each of nodes 14A-14I, and may be moved so that it is near a particular device during the interrogation or configuration process.

    [0020] Handheld device 16, however, presents a problem with respect to joining and leaving network 10. It is not practical for wireless handheld device 16 to join network 10 in the same way as a standard fixed position device (like devices 14A-14I). The time delays required to join network 10 and the frequent joining and leaving of network 10 by wireless handheld device 16 would have a negative impact on performance of network 10.

    [0021] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, network 10 has both a primary operating mode in which devices 14A-14I communicate with one another and network manager 12, as well as a secondary operating mode that allows establishment of a point-to-point subnetwork between wireless handheld device 16 and one of the devices 14A-14I of network 10. This secondary operating mode accommodates a wireless handheld configuration device and other handheld or non-fixed transient network nodes. Each device 14A-14I in network 10 maintains a configuration link that is used to detect presence of handheld device 16 or other transient network nodes. The link includes a special communication slot that all devices 14A-14I share. In other words, all of the devices use the same time and the same frequency for the special communication slot.

    [0022] Handheld device 16 is programmed to listen on the special frequency in order to establish contact with nearby devices of network 10. Handheld device 16 will listen for the special frequency over a longer time period than the duration of the special communication slot, because it is not initially synchronized to network 10. When handheld device 16 detects transmission from one or more of devices 14A-14I, it uses the special communication link to build a neighbor list in a manner that is similar to that used in the standard join process.

    [0023] As shown in FIG. 2, handheld device 16 is located near nodes 14A, 14C, and 14H. When handheld device 16 has built a neighbor list identifying devices 14A, 14C, and 14H, it then presents a list via a display to the user of handheld device 16. The list identifies those network devices within earshot of handheld device 16. In this particular example, the list would include devices 14A, 14C, and 14H. The user can then select one of those devices to establish communication.

    [0024] As shown in FIG. 3, the user has selected device 14C. Using only the join key and a network ID (both of which are programmed into handheld device 16), handheld device 16 and network device 14C create a small point-to-point subnetwork. The creation of the point-to-point subnetwork is accomplished through the temporary dedication of currently unused communication slots of network 10 to create opportunities for network device 14C and handheld device 16 to communicate with one another. This point-to-point network can be established entirely without participation of network manager 12, and can be done very rapidly. Once the point-to-point network is established, handheld device 16 and network device 14C can pass data securely either by using the preconfigured join key to encrypt data, or through an automatic exchange of a temporary configuration encryption key.

    [0025] Upon completion of the configuration process, handheld device 16 terminates the point-to-point subnetwork, and then can be moved to another location in order to configure another one of the devices of network 10. During the time that the point-to-point subnetwork is in existence, the primary operating mode of network 10 continues. Handheld device 16 does not fully join or participate in network 10. Rather, it communicates on an individual basis with only one of the devices of network 10, using communication slots that are not being used by any other device within network 10.


    Claims

    1. A wireless self-organizing network (10) comprising:

    a plurality of fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) each being configured to use one or more other fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) to pass data over the network, each said fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) being configured to use a schedule provided by a network manager (12) to talk with other said devices; and

    a non-fixed transient node (16); wherein each said fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) and the non-fixed transient node (16) being configured to have a common communication slot for establishing a temporary point-to-point subnetwork between the non-fixed transient node (16) and one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) without participation of the network manager (12), wherein the common communication slot comprises a time and frequency shared by the plurality of fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) and the non-fixed transient node (16), wherein the temporary point-to-point network between the non-fixed transient node (16) and said one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) uses communication slots not currently being used for passing data among the plurality of fixed network nodes according to the schedule.


     
    2. The network (10) of claim 1, wherein the non-fixed transient node (16) is configured to build a neighbor list of fixed network nodes whose presence has been detected on the common communication slot.
     
    3. The network (10) of claim 2 wherein non-fixed transient node (16) is configured to display the neighbor list for user selection of the device with which the temporary point-to-point subnetwork is established.
     
    4. The network (10) of claim 3, wherein the non-fixed transient node (16) is configured to provide a join key and a network ID to the selected device.
     
    5. The network (10) of claim 1, further comprising:
    the network manager (12) being configured to establish a primary operating mode in which data is passed over the mesh network using the individual fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) according to said schedule, with the temporary point-to-point subnetwork between the non-fixed transient node and said one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) using a secondary operating mode of the network (10).
     
    6. The network (10) of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein each individual fixed network node (14A - 14G) includes software configured to allow establishment of the temporary point-to-point connection between the individual device and the non-fixed transient node (16) without participation of the network manager (12).
     
    7. The network (10) of any of claims 1 to 6, wherein communications over the point-to-point connection between the individual device and the non-fixed transient node (16) are secured through the use of a network encryption key.
     
    8. A method of providing communication between fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) of a self-oganizing network (10) and a non-fixed transient node (16),
    wherein each of the fixed network nodes uses a schedule provided by a network manager to talk with other said fixed network nodes and wherein each said fixed network node and the non-fixed transient node have a common communication slot comprising a time and frequency shared by said fixed network nodes and the non-fixed transient node, the method comprising:

    positioning the non-fixed transient node (16) in a vicinity of at least one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G);

    detecting at the non-fixed transient node (16) wireless transmissions from at least one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) on the common communication slot;

    establishing a temporary point-to-point subnetwork for communication between the non-fixed transient node (16) and one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G), whose wireless transmission was detected on the common communication slot, without participation of a network manager (12); and

    communicating on the temporary point-to-point subnetwork between the non-fixed transient node (16) and said one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G), using communication slots of the wireless mesh network (10) not currently being used for passing data among the fixed network nodes according to the schedule.


     
    9. The method of claim 8, further comprising:
    building a neighbor list of fixed network nodes whose wireless transmissions on the communication slot have been detected.
     
    10. The method of claim 9, further comprising:

    displaying the neighbor list,

    wherein establishing a temporary point-to-point subnetwork is in response to a user selection of a node shown in the displayed neighbor list.


     
    11. The method of any of claims 8 to 10, further comprising:

    providing a join key and a network ID from the non-fixed transient node (16) to a fixed network node to which the temporary point-to-point subnetwork is to be established,

    communications over the temporary point-to-point subnetwork preferably being encrypted using the join key, and/or being secured through use of an encryption key.


     
    12. The method of claim 8, wherein the non-fixed transient node (16) comprises a handheld wireless configuration device and wherein the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) comprise field devices in a distributed industrial process system, and further comprising:
    configuring the one of the fixed network nodes (14A - 14G) with the handheld wireless configuration device using communications over the temporary point-to-point subnetwork.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Drahtloses selbstorganisierendes Netzwerk (10), das umfasst:

    eine Mehrzahl von festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G), von denen jeder dazu ausgelegt ist, einen oder mehrere andere feste Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) zu verwenden, um Daten über das Netzwerk zu übertragen, wobei jeder der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) dazu ausgelegt ist, einen von einem Netzwerkmanager (12) bereitgestellten Zeitplan zum Kommunizieren mit anderen der Vorrichtungen zu verwenden; und

    einen nicht festen transienten Knoten (16);

    wobei jeder der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) und der nicht feste transiente Knoten (16) so ausgelegt sind, dass sie einen gemeinsamen Kommunikationsschlitz zum Einrichten eines temporären Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerks zwischen dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) und einem der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A- 14G) ohne Beteiligung des Netzwerkmanagers (12) aufweisen, wobei der gemeinsame Kommunikationsschlitz eine Zeit und Frequenz umfasst, die von der Mehrzahl von festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) und dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) gemeinsam genutzt werden,

    wobei das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Netzwerk zwischen dem nicht-festen transienten Knoten (16) und dem einen der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A- 14G) Kommunikationsschlitze verwendet, die momentan nicht zum Übertragen von Daten zwischen der Mehrzahl von festen Netzwerkknoten gemäß dem Zeitplan verwendet werden.


     
    2. Netzwerk (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der nicht feste transiente Knoten (16) dazu ausgelegt ist, eine Nachbarliste von festen Netzwerkknoten zu erstellen, deren Anwesenheit in dem gemeinsamen Kommunikationsschlitz erfasst wurde.
     
    3. Netzwerk (10) nach Anspruch 2, wobei der nicht feste transiente Knoten (16) dazu ausgelegt ist, die Nachbarliste zur Benutzerauswahl derjenigen Vorrichtung, mit der das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk eingerichtet wird, anzuzeigen.
     
    4. Netzwerk (10) nach Anspruch 3, wobei der nicht feste transiente Knoten (16) dazu ausgelegt ist, der ausgewählten Vorrichtung einen Anschlussschlüssel und eine Netzwerk-ID bereitzustellen.
     
    5. Netzwerk (10) nach Anspruch 1, das ferner umfasst:
    den Netzwerkmanager (12), der dazu ausgelegt ist, einen primären Betriebsmodus einzurichten, in dem Daten über das Mesh-Netzwerk unter Verwendung der einzelnen festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) gemäß dem Zeitplan übertragen werden, wobei das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk zwischen dem nicht festen transienten Knoten und dem einen der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) einen sekundären Betriebsmodus des Netzwerks (10) verwendet.
     
    6. Netzwerk (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei jeder einzelne feste Netzwerkknoten (14A- 14G) Software umfasst, die dazu ausgelegt ist, die Einrichtung der temporären Punkt-zu-Punkt-Verbindung zwischen der einzelnen Vorrichtung und dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) ohne Beteiligung des Netzwerkmanagers (12) zu ermöglichen.
     
    7. Netzwerk (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die Kommunikation über die Punkt-zu-Punkt-Verbindung zwischen der einzelnen Vorrichtung und dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) durch Verwendung eines Netzwerkverschlüsselungsschlüssels gesichert wird.
     
    8. Verfahren zum Bereitstellen von Kommunikation zwischen festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) eines selbstorganisierenden Netzwerks (10) und einem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16),
    wobei jeder der festen Netzwerkknoten einen von einem Netzwerkmanager bereitgestellten Zeitplan verwendet, um mit anderen der festen Netzwerkknoten zu kommunizieren, und wobei jeder des festen Netzwerkknotens und des nicht festen transienten Knotens einen gemeinsamen Kommunikationsschlitz aufweist, der eine Zeit und eine Frequenz umfasst, die von den festen Netzwerkknoten und dem nicht festen transienten Knoten gemeinsam genutzt werden, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Positionieren des nicht festen transienten Knotens (16) in einer Nähe von mindestens einem der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G);

    Erfassen, an dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16), von drahtlosen Übertragungen von mindestens einem der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) in dem gemeinsamen Kommunikationsschlitz;

    Einrichten eines temporären Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerks zur Kommunikation zwischen dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) und einem der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A- 14G), dessen drahtlose Übertragung in dem gemeinsamen Kommunikationsschlitz erfasst wurde, ohne Beteiligung eines Netzwerkmanagers (12); und

    Kommunizieren in dem temporären Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk zwischen dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) und dem einen der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) unter Verwendung von Kommunikationsschlitzen des drahtlosen Mesh-Netzwerks (10), die momentan nicht zum Übertragen von Daten zwischen den festen Netzwerkknoten gemäß dem Zeitplan verwendet werden.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, das ferner umfasst:
    Erstellen einer Nachbarliste von festen Netzwerkknoten, deren drahtlose Übertragungen auf dem Kommunikationsschlitz erfasst wurden.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, das ferner umfasst:

    Anzeigen der Nachbarliste,

    wobei das Einrichten eines temporären Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerks als Reaktion auf eine Benutzerauswahl eines in der angezeigten Nachbarliste angezeigten Knotens erfolgt.


     
    11. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 10, das ferner umfasst:

    Bereitstellen eines Anschlussschlüssels und einer Netzwerk-ID von dem nicht festen transienten Knoten (16) zu einem festen Netzwerkknoten, zu dem das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk eingerichtet werden soll,

    wobei die Kommunikation über das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk vorzugsweise mittels des Anschlussschlüssels verschlüsselt und/oder durch die Verwendung eines Verschlüsselungsschlüssels gesichert wird.


     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, wobei der nicht-feste transiente Knoten (16) ein drahtloses Konfigurationshandgerät umfasst und wobei die festen Netzwerkknoten (14A- 14G) Feldvorrichtungen in einem verteilten industriellen Prozesssystem umfassen, und das ferner umfasst:
    Konfigurieren des einen der festen Netzwerkknoten (14A - 14G) mit dem drahtlosen Konfigurationshandgerät unter Verwendung von Kommunikation über das temporäre Punkt-zu-Punkt-Teilnetzwerk.
     


    Revendications

    1. Réseau sans fil (10) du type à organisation automatique comprenant :

    un certain nombre de noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) chacun configuré pour utiliser un ou plusieurs autres noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) pour la transmission de données à travers le réseau, chacun desdits noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) étant configuré pour utiliser un programme fourni par un gestionnaire de réseau (12) pour s'entretenir avec d'autres dispositifs parmi les dispositifs en question ; et

    un noeud temporaire non fixe (16) ;

    dans lequel chacun desdits noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) et le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) sont configurés pour disposer d'un créneau de communication commun afin d'établir un sous-réseau temporaire de point à point entre le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) et un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) sans la participation du gestionnaire de réseau (12) ;

    dans lequel le créneau de communication commun comprend un temps et une fréquence partagés par lesdits plusieurs noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) et par le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) ;

    dans lequel le réseau temporaire de point à point entre le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) et ledit un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) utilise des créneaux de communication qui ne sont pas en train d'être utilisés pour le transfert de données parmi lesdits plusieurs noeuds de réseaux fixes conformément au programme.


     
    2. Réseau (10) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) est configuré pour élaborer une liste de voisinage reprenant des noeuds de réseaux fixes dont la présence a été détectée sur le créneau de communication commun.
     
    3. Réseau (10) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) est configuré pour afficher la liste de voisinage à des fins de sélection par l'utilisateur du dispositif avec lequel le sous-réseau temporaire de point à point a été établi.
     
    4. Réseau (10) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) est configuré pour fournir une clé de jonction et un identifiant de réseau au dispositif sélectionné.
     
    5. Réseau (10) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :
    le fait que le gestionnaire de réseau (12) est configuré pour établir un mode d'exploitation principal dans lequel des données sont transférées à travers le réseau maillé en utilisant les noeuds de réseaux fixes individuels (14A - 14G) conformément au programme en question, le sous-réseau temporaire de point à point situé entre le noeud temporaire non fixe et ledit un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) utilisant un mode d'exploitation secondaire du réseau (10).
     
    6. Réseau (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel chaque noeud de réseau fixe individuel (14A - 14G) englobe un logiciel configuré pour permettre l'établissement de la connexion temporaire de point à point entre le dispositif individuel et le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) sans la participation du gestionnaire de réseau (12).
     
    7. Réseau (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel des communications via la connexion de point à point entre le dispositif individuel et le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) sont sécurisées grâce à l'utilisation d'une clé de chiffrement de réseau.
     
    8. Procédé destiné à fournir une communication entre des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) d'un réseau (10) du type à organisation automatique et un noeud temporaire non fixe (16) ;
    dans lequel chacun des noeuds de réseaux fixes utilise un programme fourni par un gestionnaire de réseau dans le but de converser avec d'autres noeuds parmi lesdits noeuds de réseaux fixes, et dans lequel chacun desdits noeuds de réseaux fixes et le noeud temporaire non fixe possèdent un créneau de communication commun comprenant un temps et une fréquence partagés par lesdits noeuds de réseaux fixes et par le noeud temporaire non fixe, le procédé comprenant le fait de :

    disposer le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) dans le voisinage d'au moins un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A- 14G) ;

    détecter, au noeud temporaire non fixe (16), des transmissions sans fil à partir d'au moins un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) sur le créneau de communication commun ;

    établir un sous-réseau temporaire de point à point à des fins de communication entre le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) et un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G), dont une transmission sans fil a été détectée sur le créneau de communication commun, sans la participation d'un gestionnaire de réseau (12) ; et

    établir une communication sur le sous-réseau temporaire de point à point entre le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) et un des noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G), en utilisant des créneaux de communication du réseau maillé sans fil (10) qui ne sont pas en train d'être utilisés pour le transfert de données parmi les noeuds de réseaux fixes conformément au programme.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre le fait de :
    élaborer une liste de voisinage reprenant des noeuds de réseaux fixes pour lesquels des transmissions sans fil ont été détectées sur le créneau de communication.
     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre le fait de :

    afficher la liste de voisinage ;

    dans lequel l'établissement d'un sous-réseau temporaire de point à point représente une réponse à une sélection d'utilisateur d'un noeud représenté dans la liste de voisinage affichée.


     
    11. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 10, comprenant en outre le fait de :

    fournir une clé de jonction et un identifiant de réseau à partir du noeud temporaire non fixe (16) à un noeud de réseau fixe auquel le sous-réseau temporaire de point à point doit être établi ;

    des communications via la connexion de point à point étant de préférence chiffrées en utilisant la clé de jonction et/ou étant sécurisées grâce à l'utilisation d'une clé de chiffrement.


     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le noeud temporaire non fixe (16) comprend un dispositif de configuration sans fil tenu en main et dans lequel les noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) comprennent des dispositifs de terrain dans un système décentralisé de processus industriels ; et comprenant en outre le fait de :
    configurer ledit un noeud parmi les noeuds de réseaux fixes (14A - 14G) avec le dispositif de configuration sans fil tenu en main en utilisant des communications à travers le sous-réseau temporaire de point à point.
     




    Drawing














    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description