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An Energy-Flow Model for Self-Powered Routers in Rural Mesh Networks and its Application for Energy-Aware Routing

By Veljko Pejovic, Elizabeth Belding and Mahesh Marina


Self-powered wireless mesh networks have gained popularity as a\ud cheap alternative for providing Internet access in many rural areas\ud of the developed and, especially, the developing world. The quality\ud of service that these networks deliver is often bounded by such rudimentary\ud issues as the unavailability of electrical energy. Dependence\ud on renewable energy sources and variable power consumption\ud make it difficult to predict the available energy and provide\ud guarantees on communication performance. To facilitate energy\ud trend estimation we develop an energy flow model that accounts for\ud communication and energy harvesting equipment hardware specifications;\ud high resolution, time-varying weather information; and the\ud complex interaction among them. To show the model’s practical\ud benefits, we introduce an energy-aware routing protocol, Lifetime\ud Pattern-based Routing (LPR), specifically tailored for self-powered\ud wireless networks. LPR’s routing decisions are based on energy\ud level estimations provided by the energy flow model. Our protocol\ud balances the available energy budget across all nodes; as a result,\ud power failures are distributed among all participating parties. Using\ud traces captured from a live network, we use simulation to show\ud that LPR outperforms existing work in rural-area wireless network\ud routing

Year: 2009
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