CFOSynt: Carrier frequency offset assisted clock syntonization for wireless sensor networks

Fujuan Guo, Baofeng Zhou, Mehmet C. Vuran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


System-level timing inconsistency and wireless communication delays are the main uncertainties of existing synchronization mechanisms for wireless sensor networks. Existing solutions mainly rely on timestamp exchanges to estimate clock offset and skew, which results in frequent synchronization, high overhead, and high energy consumption to maintain a well-synchronized network. This paper introduces a novel clock syntonization approach to estimate the differences between clock frequencies of network nodes without the need for timestamp exchanges. The carrier frequency offset (CFO) assisted syntonization (CFOSynt) utilizes the carrier information obtained from wireless packet transmission for clock skew compensation. The key idea of CFOSynt is that, in any wireless communication system, where carrier modulation is employed, carrier frequency delivers information about the transmitter RF clock. Consequently, clock frequency offset between a pair of sensor nodes will result in a carrier frequency offset detected by the receiver node. By leveraging the CFO information, CFOSynt can estimate the system clock skew based on digital counter theory. Extensive experiments and numerical analysis have been demonstrated to evaluate clock skew estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2017 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509053360
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2017 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: May 1 2017May 4 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Other2017 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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