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Title: Hybrid radio frequency/free space optical communications for energy-efficient wireless sensor networks
Author: Sivathasan, Sashigaran
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 4300
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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A wireless sensor network (WSN) consists of a large number of networked sensor nodes deployed to sense and report a particular phenomenon to a base station. Currently, most WSNs use radio frequency (RF) communications, and this accounts for a significant amount of energy expended. Free space optical (FSO) communications using modulating retroreflectors is potentially attractive for WSNs, due to the lower communications energy required. However, for FSO communications, line of sight (LOS) is required between the transmitter and the receiver. In this thesis, a hybrid Radio Frequency/Free Space Optical (RF/FSO) WSN is proposed. FSO links are used for communications, with RF links providing backup in the absence of LOS. This network has the potential to lower the overall energy consumption of a traditional RF-only WSN. Chapter 1 introduces the WSN and outlines the motivation for the RF/FSO WSN. Chapters 2 and 3 describe the RF and FSO link models used for the RF/FSO WSN. Chapter 4 describes how the WSN networks are configured. The energy model for the sensor node is discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 discusses how network traffic and energy consumption are modelled. The results of the RF/FSO WSN simulations are presented in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 discusses the conclusions from the thesis and suggests areas for future work. Simulations show that for the wide range of scenarios considered, the RF/FSO WSN consumes less energy and has a lifetime at least twice as long as the RF-only WSN. For low and average optical blocking conditions, the RF/FSO WSN is also able to offer at least the same level of network coverage as the RF-only WSN.
Supervisor: O'Brien, Dominic C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Radio frequency ; Sensor networks ; Free space optical interconnects