John L. Camp

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Rusty O. Baldwin, PhD


Research results of this thesis indicate very poor performance of a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) utilizing PDAs. Network throughput is adversely effected most by VPN implementation and slightly by increased file size. The client distance factor has virtually no effect on the throughput. The impact of each of these factor levels is small when compared to the magnitude of the overall mean throughput (<6%). The average network throughput with the PDA client is much lower than expected (=11,500 bps). This is attributed to several factors with degradation primarily resulting from limitations of the PDA hardware and O/S. Because of the low throughput values achieved (regardless if VPN is on or off), an operational WLAN with PDAs (as tested) is not feasible. Operational use of the network tested would require an in-depth analysis of the type of network traffic and performance required to maintain functionality. To deploy such a system, custom designed Winsock controls would need to be implemented to minimize limitations imposed by the PDA. As PDA technology continues to develop, future hardware and O/S functionality may provide a more robust platform for network communications. The battery life of the PDA and packet battery combination is observed to be about 164 minutes with additional jackets adding about 90 minutes each.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number