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Title: A comprehensive scheme for reconfigurable energy-aware wireless sensor nodes
Author: Weddell, Alexander Stewart
ISNI:       0000 0004 2695 4531
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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Wireless sensor nodes are devices that perform measurements (of parameters such as temperature or vibration) and communicate over a wireless medium. A key benefit is that they can operate autonomously. Nodes are commonly battery-powered so that they can be deployed rapidly without the need to install a wired power supply; however, batteries must be changed when depleted and this can impose a costly maintenance requirement. Energy harvesting is an emerging field, which offers the possibility for nodes to be powered indefinitely from environmental energy (such as light, vibration, or temperature difference). The power generated from environmental energy is often limited and variable, and nodes must be able to adapt their operation to take account of the power available. There have been a number of demonstrations of wireless sensor nodes powered from harvested energy, but existing demonstrators are tailored for specific types of energy resource (constraining their use to applications with suitable energy availability). The existing interfaces between the energy hardware and the nodes' embedded software is bespoke and limited to specific devices, so it is impossible to exchange the energy hardware to adapt to differing energy availability. The work described in this thesis delivers a comprehensive scheme for reconfigurable energy-aware sensor nodes, which overcomes the limitations of the existing systems and allows the energy hardware for sensor nodes to be connected together in a plug-and-play manner. The scheme has been evaluated by way of a prototype which accommodates a range of energy devices. The main contributions of this research are threefold: firstly, the system is enabled by a new hardware interface between the energy devices and sensor node; secondly, an embedded software structure is implemented to interface with the energy hardware; and thirdly, efficient energy-aware modules compliant with the scheme have been produced. The combined result is a novel energy subsystem for wireless sensor nodes that supports a range of energy devices and can deliver energy-aware operation for a range of microcontroller platforms, while imposing a minimal additional resource requirement to deliver this functionality.
Supervisor: White, Neil ; Harris, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science