Toward perpetual wireless networks: opportunistic large arrays with transmission thresholds and energy harvesting
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Solving the key issue of sustainability of battery-powered sensors continues to attract significant research attention. The prevailing theme of this research is to address this concern using energy-efficient protocols based on a form of simple cooperative transmission (CT) called the opportunistic large arrays (OLAs), and intelligent exploitation of energy harvesting and hybrid energy storage systems (HESSs). The two key contributions of this research, namely, OLA with transmission threshold (OLA-T) and alternating OLA-T (A-OLA-T), offer an signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) advantage (i.e., benefits of diversity and array (power) gains) in a multi-path fading environment, thereby reducing transmit powers or extending range. Because these protocols do not address nodes individually, the network overhead remains constant for high density networks or nodes with mobility. During broadcasting across energy-constrained networks, while OLA-T saves energy by limiting node participation within a single broadcast, A-OLA-T optimizes over multiple broadcasts and drains the the nodes in an equitable fashion. Another important contribution of this research is the design and analysis of a novel routing metric called communications using HESS (CHESS), which extends the rechargeable battery (RB)-life by relaying exclusively with supercapacitor (SC) energy, and is asymptotically optimal with respect to the number of nodes in the network.