What network protocols will the new Mesh devices support?

We have built a sensor network using particle photons , they communicate with each other using UDP multicast for high frequency sensor values and they communicate with the PC using TCP and HTTP, they serve up simple web pages.

Will this method work with the new Mesh devices? And will the Mesh be able to handle this or do we still need a WiFi router? Will each device need to connect to the Wifi router as we currently have , or can they connect to the mesh alone?

If we cant use UDP mulitcast Is there some other communication method we need to implement for device-to-device communication on the Mesh devices?

There are two parts to this:

The Argon will have full access to the expected protocols: TCP, UDP, UDP Multicast, just as the photon can, over Wi-Fi.

The mesh devices, however, communicate using Thread Mesh (6LoWPAN over 802.15.4). When you communicate across the mesh network you can use the various Particle features like publish and subscribe, as well as UDP and UDP Multicast.

Thread Mesh is a store and forward packet delivery system, and TCP is not supported for devices only on the mesh network. Thus you can’t make a TCP connection from a mesh device directly.

However, you can make a TCP or HTTP connection from an Argon, Boron, or Ethernet shield. So you might want to transport the raw data to the gateway device over mesh, and then have the gateway device make the TCP connection.

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Thanks for the response, are my basic assumptions correct, is the following the most reliable way to set it up:
We setup one Argon which connects to the Wifi.
Xenons control the various sensors and transmit the data over udp multicast.
The Argon reads the UDP data from the sensors.
The Xenons can all share data with each other and with the Argon using UDP multicast.

If the PC needs to read data it has to ask the Argon for the data it is interested in over TCP.
If the PC needs to change a setting on one of the Xenons it needs to command the Argon to , which will then tell the Xenon to over UDP. (this last piece we havent got)

One last question: do the Xenons get connected to the Mesh faster than a Photon connects to the wifi?

Yes, that is a good plan and should work.

The Thread Mesh connection protocol is designed to be fast and low power, much faster than Wi-Fi.