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Chapter 12: 6LoWPAN and RPL > 12.7 Packet Routing

12.7 Packet Routing

IP packets injected in an RPL network must have a RPL header that specifies the RPL instance, except when strict source routing is used.

If some leaf nodes send IP packets without such an RPL header, the first RPL router is required to add it, and select a default RPL instance. The RPL specification in itself does not specify the header format, but points to the ID-ietf-6man-rpl-option that places the RPL information into an IPv6 hop-by-hop option header.

The RPL information includes:

  • “O”: the down 1-bit flag indicating the intended direction of the packet.
  • “R”: the Rank-Error 1-bit flag signaling that a mismatch has occurred during forwarding between the rank relationship of the sender and receiver, and the effective direction of the packet. Such inconsistency, which can happen during the construction of a new DODAG version of a given RPL instance, is allowed to happen only once. RPL routers will absorb packets that are already “R” flagged in case such rank inconsistency is detected again.

  

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