In this paper we present empirical results from a study examining the effects of antenna diversity and placement on vehicle-to-vehicle link performance in vehicular ad hoc networks. The experiments use roofand in-vehicle mounted omni-directional antennas and IEEE 802.11a radios operating in the 5GHz band, which is of interest for planned inter-vehicular communication standards. Our main findings are two-fold. First, we show that radio reception performance is sensitive to antenna placement in the 5Ghz band. Second, our results show that, surprisingly, a packet level selection diversity scheme using multiple antennas and radios, Multi-Radio Packet Selection (MRPS), improves performance not only in a fading channel but also in line-of-sight conditions. This is due to propagation being affected by car geometry, leading to the highly non-uniform antenna patterns. These patterns are very sensitive to the exact antenna position on the roof, for example at a transmit power of 40mW the line-of-sight communication range varied between 50 and 250m depending on the orientation of the cars. These findings have implications for vehicular MAC protocol design. Protocols may have to cope with an increased number of hidden nodes due to the directional antenna patterns. However, car makers can reduce these effects through careful antenna placement and diversity
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