Energy-aware transceiver for energy harvesting wireless sensor networks

Amine Didioui 1
1 CAIRN - Energy Efficient Computing ArchItectures with Embedded Reconfigurable Resources
IRISA-D3 - ARCHITECTURE, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : Technological advances achieved over the past decade in the fields of microsystems and wireless communications have enabled the development of small size and low cost sensor nodes equipped with wireless communication capabilities able to establish a wireless sensor network (WSN). Each sensor node is typically equipped with one or several sensing unit, a data processing unit, a wireless communication interface and a battery. The challenges raised by WSNs has lead to the emergence of a new research domain which focuses on the study and deployment of such a networks in order to offer the required remote monitoring and control solutions for complex and unreachable environment. WSNs have found application in a wide range of different domains, including home and structural health monitoring, military surveillance, and biomedical health monitoring. These applications usually impose stringent constraints on the WSN lifetime which is expected to last several years. To reach this objective, it is necessary to reduce the overall energy consumption of the sensor node and to find an additional source of energy as well. To address the last point, energy harvesting from the environment seems to be a an efficient approach to sustain WSNs operations. However, energy harvesting devices, which must also be small, are usually unable to ensure a continuous operation of sensor nodes. Thus, it is necessary to adapt the WSN consumption and activity to the low and unpredictable energy scavenged. The work presented in this thesis focuses on the issue of simulation and power consumption of autonomous sensor nodes. We have first developed, HarvWSNet, a co-simulation framework combining WSNet and Matlab that provides adequate tools to accurately simulate heterogenous protocols (based on discrete-time events) and energy harvesting systems (based on continuous-time events). We have demonstrated that HarvWSNet allows a rapid evaluation of energy-harvesting WSNs deployment scenarios that may accelerate the time-to-market for these systems. Thanks to the accurate energy models (battery, supercapacitor, etc.) implemented in this platform, we have studied and evaluated a large scale deployment of solar and wind energy-harvesting WSNs. Our second contribution focuses on the implementation of energy-aware reconfiguration strategies in the radio transceiver which is usually considered as the most energy hungry component in a sensor node. These strategies are intended to reduce the excessive power consumption of the radio transceiver when the channel conditions are favorable. To this end, we have a new simulation framework called EnvAdapt (based also on WSNet) dedicated to the evaluation of reconfigurable radio transceivers for WSNs. In EnvAdapt, we have implemented the required radio transceiver behavioral and power consumption models that allows the evaluation of the impact of radio transceiver reconfiguration on the communication performance and lifetime of WSNs.
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Amine Didioui. Energy-aware transceiver for energy harvesting wireless sensor networks. Networking and Internet Architecture [cs.NI]. Université Rennes 1, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014REN1S056⟩. ⟨tel-01127236⟩

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