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Energy-Efficient Sensor Networks

Principal Investigator(s): 

Abstract: 

This project bridges a number of diverse areas, namely Communications, Networking, VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated Systems), and Computer Engineering. Prof. Anthony Ephremides is the Principal Investigator in this project but collaborates closely with a number of other faculty, namely, Sennur Ulukus, Gang Qu, Rajeev Barua, Bruce Jacob, Pamela Abshire and several postdocs and students. The project has diversified funding from NSF, NASA, ARL, and ONR.

The goal of the project is to improve the performance and longevity of sensor networks that are deployed in various environments but rely on non-renewable energy supply in the form of single battery packs on each sensor. Therefore it is important to design sensor nodes and network protocols that conserve energy and satisfy the application requirements of the network (e.g. target detection, environmental monitoring, etc.).

The approach followed is multi-pronged and has both a theoretical and an experimental component. Its uniqueness lies in the exploitation of the interdependencies between the different layers and components of the system. For example the design of the embedded processor in a node interacts with the communication system design, the signal processing algorithm, and the network protocol. To achieve maximum energy efficiency, these interactions need to be understood and taken advantage of.

The major accomplishments to date include the spearheading of the energy-efficient cross-layer design of such networks, especially for target detection, and the identification of metrics that capture both hardware performance as well as application performance (that is, energy consumption, and target detection probability). A laboratory that has been funded by NSF is under development to help build energy-efficient prototypes and a number of theoretical advances have been published in the literature and have led to multiple invited presentations and plenary talks in the community.

Researchers

Faculty: Anthony Ephremides, Pamela Abshire, Rajeev Barua, Bruce Jacob, Gang Qu, Peter Petrov, and Sennur Ulukus